the Culver Model L series, the Culver "V" (for Victory) was designed by
Al Mooney for
pilot. After all, there would be thousands of returning military
pilots who would,
now that the conflagration
had ended, want their own aircraft. Right? Well, not
many of the myriad of
post-war aircraft manufacturers pulled out. Culver was no
However, the Culver V offered many new (and
untried) advanced features. Designed especially
for the amateur pilot and
novice, the Model V had a patented system of flight control known as
"Simpli-Fly". This consisted of an ingenious hook-up of controls
whereby a pilot could set up a
mode of flight (shades of
today's Cirrus SR-20?) simply by turning dials or setting levers on a
console of the dash
panel. Settings such as "takeoff", "climb out", "cruise", "
approach" and "glide"
selected. This, of course, didn't work too well, and
eventually the company came out
with the V-2 model
(sounds like a Nazi rocket) which was designed to correct the bugs, but
this time the damage
to the little craft's reputation had been done and the aircraft did not
cost effective numbers
resulting in the bankrupcty of the Culver concern. Roughly
Vs were built.
My photograph was taken at El Paso, Texas, Municipal Airport in 1982.
1950 I travelled to South Africa. I knew (since I kept abreast of
all the civil aircraft registers)
that four Culver
Vs had been registered there (as ZS-BRP/R/S/T). I also knew they
supposed to be in Cape
Town. So off I rush to Youngsfield Airport. Maybe I could have a
at one of these
simple-to-fly novelties? "Where are the Culvers?" I ask. A
indicated a fuselage
hanging up on a hanger wall, and a large crate containing wings.
yellow, like the one
"Where are the
others?". "Oh," says the mechanic " they wouldn't
give 'em a C of
A so they cancelled the order"!!. He actually
probably followed that up with "Mon".
(No "mates" in South
Africa). Anyway, I understand that ZS-BRP was
broken up and never flew
(at least in ZS- land).