You want to talk about flying? I mean, real flying? The kind that brings little kids (of all ages) to the airport fence? Then what you seek, my friend, is something like this 1943 clipped-wing J-3 Cub.
Sunrise has something like 30 aircraft on the line, ranging from 200+ knot turbo Cirrus SR22 to an Extra 300 to plane-jane Skyhawks.Â And I fly them all.Â But for my money, there’s nothing better than cruising down the Orange County coastline at sunset in that little J-3 at 45 mph, sipping fuel at maybe 3 or 4 gallons an hour.
You’re 500′ above the water, door and window wide open, just breathing in the fresh ocean air and watching the sun work its way ever lower on the horizon.Â I love that time of day, with shadows creeping across the rolling hills of Laguna Beach and city lights from the beachfront homes and restaurants lighting up one by one.
I recently had a chance to take Kristi for an early evening flight in this simple, yet classic aircraft. For the price, nothing else comes close. The wet rate is only $89/hr. And with those clipped wings, the aircraft is far more maneuverable and sporty than traditional Cubs.
On occasion I’ll even take it up solo and just bomb around the pattern for half an hour — it’s that much fun! The engine puts out 100 hp, so it climbs out quite nicely when only one person is aboard.
Anyway, here are some photos from our flight. Enjoy!