Danish Army Piper prepared for flight

The Aeronautical Activity Center Avedoere just south of Copenhagen has finished a superb, nine-year restoration

The former Army Aviation Service Piper Super Cub L 18C (18-3165 / 534765) is not far away from making a first post-restoration flight.

Built in 1953 at Lock Haven, the airframe was shipped directly to the Belgian Army at AB Welvelgem. Although it was allocated the army registration L91 it was stored until prepared for delivery to Denmark, as part of a MDAP batch of 16 Super Cubs. In May 1957 it was flown to AB Vaerloese near Copenhagen for some modifications and repainting (camouflage). It was allocated the Danish type number 66 and serial 654, later changed to Y-654. A few months later it went into service as a trainer for army student pilots at the AF Flying School at AB Avnoe.

Super Cub Y-654 in front of the 1917-built wooden hangar at Avedoere military airfield
Super Cub Y-654 in front of the 1917-built wooden hangar at Avedoere military airfield Jens Erik Lund

In March 1965 it was transferred to the Army Aviation Service (AAA) at AB Vandel in Jutland and used for AOP and communication duties until it was withdrawn from military service in December 1977. In 1979 it was put on the Danish civil register as OY-AZZ with the Danish Air Force Air Material Command. It was maintained by former AAA personnel for nearly 10 years.

Three of the AAA’s Super Cubs were damaged beyond repair before a disaster struck in April 1968 when 11 aircraft were destroyed in a hangar fire at AB Vandel. Fortunately, two Super Cubs, Y-654 and Y-652, were out of base that night and therefore survived. Y-652 is currently under restoration at AB Aalborg.

After some years in storage at AB Karup, and some administrative work involving US authorities the Danish Air Force Historical Collection handed over Y-654 to AAA for a complete restoration to airworthiness. The aircraft has been finished in the livery it had when withdrawn from service in 1977.

It should fly again once final checks and paperwork are completed.

Y-654 has been finished in the striking Danish miliary livery that it last wore in 1977 Jens Erik Lund