Conceived in the waning days of World War II, the L-13 is a high-wing, tail-wheel monoplane created for liaison, observation, search-and-rescue, and air-ambulance duties. The L-13’s design is typical of the transitional period between World War II and the Korean War; its notable features include folding wings and tail for shipment, swing-out engine mounts for easy maintenance, and a rounded, cone-shaped rear fuselage for enhanced strength. The Grasshopper is an unglamorous worker bee that helped save lives in remote areas!

Only 302 were built, so it’s a reasonably rare aircraft. First built for the U.S. Air Force, the L-13 also was used by the Army during the Korean War. Originally designed with an inline Franklin engine, many Grasshoppers (including ours) were modified to house radial Lycoming R-680-13 engines. In civilian use, this was called the Husky II, as it was primarily used by bush pilots.

This L-13 was donated to Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum by Hawaii pilot and aviation educator Rob Moore, whose gift to the Museum includes additional L-13 wings, a fuselage and a Franklin O-425-6 engine. Unlike most aircraft received by the Museum, this one is in near-operating condition.