Author Topic: Culver Models  (Read 8250 times)

Brett Lovett

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Culver Models
« on: January 06, 2012, 11:48:43 PM »
I'm hoping to start some discussion of Culver's various models.  I've been able to identify the following models that were either manufactured or planned by Culver.  Anyone know of any others, or any corrections to this list?

Dart G  (First four manufactured by Monocoupe before design was sold to Knight Culver.)
Dart GK
Dart GW

LCA
LFA
LCB  (Temporary experimental configuration)
LCC  (Temporary experimental configuration)
LAR  (Army A-8, XPQ-8)
L-AR-90 (Army PQ-8)  (Navy TDC-1)
LARB (Army PQ-8A)  (Navy XTDC-2, TDC-2)

MR (Army XPQ-10)  (Cancelled before completion.)

NR-B (Army XPQ-9)  (Destroyed in flight test accident.)
NR-D (Army YPQ-14A, PQ-14A, YPQ-14B, PQ-14B)  (Navy TD2C-1)

??  (Army XPQ-15)  (Navy TD3C-1)  (Culver designation unknown.  Uncertain if any were built/delivered.)

V
V-2  (Navy TD4C-1/XUC-1K)  (2 delivered to U.S. Navy)
« Last Edit: January 12, 2012, 11:17:09 AM by Brett Lovett »

Brett Lovett

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Re: Culver Models
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2012, 12:12:31 AM »
Additional variations of Culver models produced post-Culver:

Dart GC (Applegate & Weyant)

Lark 95 (Lark Aviation/Helton)


Additionally Army PQ-8As and Navy TDC-2s could be 'remodeled' as a Jamieson J-1 making them legal for civilian operation on a standard airworthiness certificate.  Charles Jamieson, a former Culver engineer, obtained a group 2 type certificate authorizing this conversion/redesignation after World War II.  The Jamieson J-1 is not to be confused with the Jamieson J-2 "Jupiter" which was a completely new design.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2012, 09:57:37 AM by LCA-329 »

Paul Rule

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Re: Culver Models
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2012, 11:21:55 AM »
How many Culvers are there?
Some interesting numbers...   In doing a database search today I found:

                Culver LCA    49 records
                Culver LFA    69  records
Superior / Culver LCA    4 records
Superior / Culver LFA    11 records
      for a total of           133

also:    Culver V & V2    64
Helton Lark 95                  10
PQ-14A & B & TD2C-1   11
Jamieson  J-1                 4  (I think these are all civilianized PQ-8s and all have Lyc. O-290)

I found no records for: PQ-8 /LAR-90 / YPQ-14 A or B
--- still looking for the Darts.
 
« Last Edit: January 19, 2012, 03:14:46 PM by Paul Rule »

Paul Rule

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Re: Dart Models
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2012, 12:27:43 PM »
OK, the Darts are:   (many have been re-engined)

Dart G       8 records    (powered by Lambert 90)
Dart  GC    10 records  (powered by Cont. A-100  at  100HP)
Dart  GK     8 records   (powered by Ken-Royce 90)
Dart GW    4 records    (powered by Warner - 90 / 125 /145)

They started out associated with (or made by?) Lambert-Monocoupe and designed by Mooney when he was working there.  It might have been called a 'Monoprep G' and/or 'Monosport G' then but (no?) production.

When K.K. Culver and Mooney teamed up at Dart Aircraft Co. they first built Darts then Cadets.  Early Cadets have 'dual purpose' data plates that say:  The Culver Aircraft Corporation  "Dart Model" (stamped) LCA or LFA
« Last Edit: January 19, 2012, 03:13:54 PM by Paul Rule »

Paul Rule

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Re: Culver Models
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2012, 12:00:42 PM »
Took off my post about how many are airworthy -- keeping on subject....

Looking at my Juptner:  Al Mooney designed the Alaxander "Bullet" before going to work for Lambert Aircraft where he worked on the Monocoupe.  The Dart seems to have started as a sideline project drawn some from the "Bullet" that progressed to the point of anouncing production in 1935.  The first one was open cockpit called the Monoprep G (but may have been only one)  then they enclosed it and called it the Monosport G but only made a few before Culver and Mooney bought the design in 1939.  It seems they built about 50 machines total (all in CMH - none in ICT) , all with various radials and some were concurrent with the early Cadet production.  Applegate & Weyant bought the rights in 1946 and built about 10 of the GC (flat Continental).    So about half of then still exist (see previous post).

It is described as; "extriemly short coupled with wide eliptical wings(that) spelled rigidity, exceptional strength and neck-jerking maneuverability."  I have read a description of an airshow aerobatic progran done in Cuba in a Dart!

Paul Rule

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Re: Culver Models
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2012, 05:34:28 PM »
A little information from Juptner on the Cadet:

K.K. Culver and Al Mooney were already organized as Culver Aircraft Co. making Darts in CMH.  Type Certificate was issued 9-7-40 and production started in Columbus, OH but moved to Wichita, KS before the end of that year.  I dont know how many "Ohio Cadets" there are but my sn 126 has a Columbus data plate. 

By mid year 1941 there were 130 people working for Culver!  Late in 1941 Culver was bought out by Chas. Yankey and Walter Beech and Mooney stayed with them.  Art Mooney, his brother was production supervisor.  Cadet production ended 10-17-42 with #459 (only 358 airplanes total).  It is interesting that they started with sn-100 as a marketing ploy... thought it would be easier to sell then sn-1!   

Juptner states that Cadets were delivered with all 4 engine options:  A-75-8 or -9 / A-80-8 / 4AC-176 / 4AC-199. 

Wood props and a first aid kit were standard equipment.  (The Franklins had bat, gen & starter but not the Cont.)

Other options were:  Freedman-Burnham adj. prop. / 12v battery /wind driven generator / cabin heater / landing light / fire ext. / perking brake / oil cooler / 15g. aux. fuel & 8qt. oil sump / and last of all a radio!

In 1942 Culver Aircraft was begining to look at the military contract options and (in order to survive and to contribute to the war effort) began developing the LAR-90 -aka- PQ-8.  I don't know if they were ordered to stop civil production or they had to because the materials were all taken up for the war effort.  Amounts to the same thing.

The "V" was developed during the war as it was felt that a safer / more benign machine would sell better after the war to all the 'new' pilots there would be then.

A last note:  Walter Beech was interested enough in this 'new - faster - retractable' design to invest in it.  He watched Jameison develop his 2 place "V" tail Jupter and  it is said that the Swift was somewhat reverse engineered from the Cadet,  so... To what extent is the Cadet the 'father' of the Swift and the Bonanza?

« Last Edit: January 21, 2012, 06:29:46 PM by Paul Rule »

Bill Poynter

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Re: Culver Models
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2012, 06:45:29 PM »
I've attached a scan of the dataplate on my project Cadet.  It's sn 184 with a Columbus dataplate.  The original weight and balance report is on a form dated March 1941 and has a Wichita address   I looks like they may have just used up all of their old dataplates.

Paul Rule

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Re: Culver Models
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2012, 07:36:23 PM »
Bill, Now it seems there may be 3 different data plates ( at least).

Yours says "CULVER CADET" across the top,  mine says "DART MODEL" (but is stamped LCA) .

Yours says "..Civil Aeronautics Board"  and Mine says "...Department of Commerce"

There was no space to stamp the engine type so they stamped CONT A-75 in a black space above the airspeeds.

Yours has spaces to stamp the oil types and mine dosn't.

My other data plates are similar to yours but say Wichita, Kansas at the top.  Yours, dated 12-40 may have been right at the transition... who knows, maybe mostly built in CMH and moved as parts, then delivered from ICT...  I guess anything's possible.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2012, 07:46:45 PM by Paul Rule »

Paul Rule

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Re: Culver Models
« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2012, 09:32:26 PM »
The Vintage Aircraft Article shows a dataplate for #102 that is like my "DART" dataplate.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2012, 10:12:35 PM by Bill Poynter »

Brett Lovett

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Re: Culver Models
« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2012, 12:34:47 PM »
I just received copies of the Navy Aircraft History Cards for Bureau Numbers 120339 and 120340, Model XUC-1K.  They were both accepted into the Navy on August 21, 1946.  I believe these to be either Culver model V or V-2 aircraft modified for radio control.  I have a photograph of what appears to be these two aircraft on a Laserdisc of Smithsonian Air and Space Museum photographs.  Unfortunately I don't currently have a way to reproduce that photo here.  120339 was stricken from the Navy inventory on October 31, 1947, and 120340 was stricken on March 31, 1948.

They show no history cards for 29665 or 29666 which were assigned to the model XTD3C-1.  I'm guessing this means that the Navy never took delivery of these aircraft.

Brett Lovett

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Re: Culver Models
« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2012, 01:14:55 PM »
A few notes on Juptner:

I don't believe Charles Yankee and Walter Beech ever actually bought the company.  They were however brought in as investors and given control of the company at the request or demand of the Army for the duration of WWII. 

I question that civil production ended in October of 1942.  I recall that all civilian aircraft production in the US was ordered to end in April 1942.  They actually started with serial number 101.  100 was a test article that later was completed as a saleable aircraft.  Starting serial numbers at 100, 101, or 1001, was and is a common practice.  It was done with the Space Shuttle Orbiters with the Enterprise being OV-101, and they also had a test article that later became a flying orbiter, OV-099, Challenger.

I believe he is incorrect about the A-80-8 and 4AC-199 engines being available as factory options.  I've seen no literature suggesting this.  The A-80 is not approved on the type certificate, and I suspect the 4AC-199E3 was added to the type certificate after production.

Freedman-Burnham ground adjustable propellers were standard equipment on early Cadets, not an option.  I don't know at which serial number they switched to fixed pitch Sensenich props.  12V battery was standard on the LFA, 6V battery was optional on the LCA.  Cabin heater and fire extinguisher were standard equipment.  Oil cooler is required equipment on the LCA, but some of the early LCAs were initially delivered without them before the Type Certificate was finalized.  I also don't recall seeing any provision for a parking brake option.

I've read that Walter Beech invited some of the Culver employees to come work at Beechcraft at the end of the war, and I believe Charles Jamieson was one that did.  I believe there is definitely Culver influence in the design of the Bonanza, but with the Jamieson J-2 being type certificated in 1963, I suspect the J-2 V-tail design was influenced by the Bonanza, although the V-tail on the Bonanza COULD have been Jamieson's idea when he was working for Beech.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2012, 01:19:02 PM by Brett Lovett »

Brett Lovett

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Re: Culver Models
« Reply #11 on: January 26, 2012, 01:40:51 PM »
Regarding the Monoprep G, I believe that I've seen it in a photo of the interior of Culver factory in Columbus during Cadet production.  The reading of the type certificate data sheet for the Dart G suggests that serial number G-1 was a Monoprep G, and G-2 G-3 and G-4 were Monosport Gs all built by Monocoupe before the sale.

Thanks for the names of these Paul.  I didn't know what the Monocoupe model names were. 

Al Mooney also prepared "SPECIFICATIONS ADVANCED LIGHT AIRPLANE DESIGN" dated December 30, 1937 for a Continental A-50 powered airplane (with an optional A-40) in both tandem and side by side seating, and with a "Stressed Skin Non-metallic Structure" while he was at Monocoupe.  This appears to be the basis for the Culver Cadet.

Brett Lovett

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Re: Culver Models
« Reply #12 on: January 26, 2012, 01:42:21 PM »
Monocoupe Monoprep G?  Most of the sources I'm finding refer to all the Monocoupe Gs as Monosport Gs.

« Last Edit: January 26, 2012, 01:45:32 PM by Brett Lovett »