Serving primarily as a
stateside trainer and liaison
hack, the L-2 did much of its
service converted to gliders.
(Photo by bentwing.com)
Later L-2s were equipped
with spoilers on top of the
wings, which killed some of
the type’s well-known float
on landing. (Photo courtesy
The first “civilian” aircraft to compete was from the Taylorcraft Company, given the designation
O-57/L-2. The L-2 had a wingspan of 35 feet 2 inches and a fuselage length of 22 feet 9 inches. The
empty weight was 875 pounds, with a gross weight of 1,300 pounds. With a maximum speed of
98mph, the L-2 was the fastest contender in the field. Later models incorporated wing spoilers similar
to those found on gliders, allowing the aircraft to make very steep approaches to short landing strips.
Of all the models considered, the only one that remained stateside, never seeing combat, was
the L-2. Designed and built by C. Gilbert Taylor, the man responsible for the famous Taylor Cub,
which eventually became the
J- 3 Piper Cub, the L-2 proved it
could adapt to anything the U.S.
military threw at it, including
having its engine removed and
replaced with a third seat.
With a shortage of gliders and
glider pilots, the U.S. military
turned to Taylorcraft for help, and
the company converted L-2s into
three-seat glider trainers called
“TG-6s.” Easy to fly and cheap
to build, the gliders helped train
hundreds of men. Some pilots
ended up flying the bigger versions
over the beaches and hedgerows of
Europe during D-Day operations.
The L-2 was
designed by C. Gilbert Taylor, the
for the famous
Taylor Cub, which
the J- 3 Piper Cub.