Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are nothing new. In 1940 the U.S. Army Air Corps ordered the development of the radio-controlled aircraft to be used as targets for training artillery gunners. These target aircraft were to be flown unmanned, controlled by radio signals from a “mother ship”. Provisions were made for the aircraft to be flown by a pilot for ferry and/or check flights. Culver Aircraft Corporation submitted the only accepted design for production and thus became THE major producer of radio-controlled aerial aircraft for the Army and Navy during WW II. Culver built three basic models in quantity for the Army with corresponding models for the Navy. Culver began with the PQ-8, 90-hp Franklin powered version based on the civilian Culver Model LFA Cadet. This model was succeeded by the faster PQ-8A powered by a 125-hp Lyc. This PQ-14B is powered by a 150 Franklin and was equipped with retractable gear. During WW II the Air Corps purchased over 2000 PQ-14s, of which, 1198 went to the Navy.
|Registration Number||Date of Manufacture|
|N75380||September 12, 1944|
|Gunnery Target Drone Trainer|
|Overall length:||Empty weight:|
|19′ 6″||1,231 Lbs|
|Gross weight:||Fuel capacity:|
|1,820 Lbs||13 Gallons each wing|
|Oil capacity||Engine type:|
|8 Qts||Franklin O-300-11 150hp|
|Propeller type:||Max Speed|
|Wood Fixed Pitch Sensenich Model 66CA63||234 mph Dive|
|Rate of Climb||Cruise Speed|
|Service Ceiling||Number of Crew|
|Number Built||Number Surviving|
|512 B models||3|
Owner/restorer, Harry Pick actually flew PQs in the Army Air Corps during and after WW II and vowed to someday own one. After many years of searching, he found one for sale in Gooding Idaho in 1969. The airplane was a complete basket case. Harry, a phenomenal craftsman dedicated himself to one day flying his PQ. Harry sought out plans, schematics and documents from museums, former Culver employees, pilots, previous owners and from wherever or whoever might have information useful during the rebuild. He claims one of his greatest resources was the Smithsonian Institute. They lent him an original set of plans, actually 6 reels of microfiche that he had copied. The aircraft is constructed almost entirely of wood including plywood skins. During the rebuild every piece of steel was removed, cleaned, magnafluxed and repainted. Nearly every piece of wood and aluminum had to be reconstructed. Along the way Harry personally hand built every tool, every jig and every fixture used during the project. He even built the oven and steaming tank to form the curved wooden components such as ribs, formers and skins. The leading edges proved to be especially difficult, but he figured it out and they like every other part on this PQ are perfect. The restoration began in earnest in 1982 and then for the next thirty years Harry invested over 6000 documented hours blood sweat and tears before he climbed into the cockpit, brought the engine to life, taxied to the end of his grass runway and took off into “the wild blue yonder” flying his very own PQ-14B. This is a truly outstanding restoration and deserves a very close look.
Printable QR Codes for: Harry Pick’s One of a Kind Culver PQ-14B:
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