The Barn Cub

Jared with Cub

When Jared Calvert heard about a Cub that had been in a barn for decades, he decided, “I’ve got to be the one to fly this plane.”

When he first learned about the Cub, he was told the 1946 Cub had been “sitting for awhile” in a barn. When he finally saw the barn, he was surprised to see a 25-foot mesquite tree had grown up in front of the door. He looked in the window and saw the Cub — and knew he had found a treasure. He soon discovered the Cub had not flown since 1950.

The 1946 J-3 was purchased new by Charles Moseley of Coleman County in Texas in late 1946. The plane, assembled in Lock Haven, Pa., took a 30-minute test flight and was then flown to Fort Worth in October 1946. That trip took 14.5 hours. For three years Moseley and his daughter Charlotte flew the Cub, adding 182 hours to the airframe. After selling one of two farm operations separated by the county in 1950, the plane was pushed into a hangar on the farm after a flight on July 1. “It would wait there, not to see daylight again, until Jan 18, 2009,” Calvert said.

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“The airplane is in remarkable condition,” he continued. “Minimal rust and a considerable amount of cotton fabric remain on the airframe.”

Moseley’s descendants donated the plane to Calvert, telling him “we want the museum to get it into the air.”

The only stipulation made by the family was that if the Cub had to be sold, the money must be donated to charity. They also asked that Calvert preserve the history of the family’s ownership of the Cub.

He readily agreed, and brought the “Barn Cub” to Ranger Airfield.

“The family had done a fabulous job keeping up with the paperwork,” he said, noting he has all of the aircraft logs and documents from the CAA, the precursor to the FAA. “The amazing part of what this airplane has to offer is that it has never been recovered. The details I’m finding and will duplicate should provide this airplane with the opportunity to be the lowest time, most original Cub flying. All six instruments, seat materials and belts, smooth tires with Cub logos — even the canvas baggage compartment — were in place.”

Although the plane was completely assembled when he found it, Calvert said he has since “done a good job of making it a basket case.” As of early April, the airframe is awaiting sandblast.

“I want it flying as soon as possible and plan to use the plane to give rides to kids at Ranger and flying events throughout Texas,” he said. “What better way to expose a young mind to aviation than through the open door of a Cub?”

Comments

  1. Ron Hasse says

    Keep up the good work,I’ll be watching close. I just found a J-3 in a barn in Michigan 1325 TTSN

  2. Doug Rodrigues says

    Wow. I thought all of those barn stored and forgotten airplanes were already found…but up pops another one! Years ago I heard a story about a disassembled Ercoupe stored in some old guys garage in New Jersey. I wonder if anybody ever found that one? Then there was the story of three buried military J-3s still in the nitrogen pressurized shipping containers. Easier to just bury them than go through the paperwork of disposing for them after the war. The guy who buried them went back about 30 years later to dig them back up and found a housing area built there…so the story goes. Perhaps one day somebody will be digging in their property and discover three airplanes in brand new condition!? It would maybe be in the news 50 years from now.

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