Of Pipers, generals & readers
Speaking of World War II planes (see this post), Gus has an Aeronca Champion, a slightly later competitor of the Piper Cub around the same size. Both planes served with the military as observation aircraft and battlefield transports.
The amazing thing is how tiny these planes were; a lot of today's UAVs are larger. tiny, light and fragile - not the greatest combination if you're in a war zone. Especially if you're a general in charge of an Army corps or an entire Army group. But Omar Bradley regularly flew in them to survey the front.
And they're still flying.
Here's Gus's plane:
My wee Aeronca Champion is essentially the same as the Piper L-4, same engine and general design except the Champ has a normal door instead of a split door. Most laymen don't notice the difference. The only really obvious thing is that the Piper engine protrudes and the Champ's is covered. My Champ has a wood prop, no electrical system and is hand propped to start. Just about as much fun as anything I've ever flown and gently sips fuel.
And here's a Piper: