TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. --
The Culver PQ-14 “Cadet” was an outgrowth of Culvers pre-WWII efforts in to inexpensive general aviation aircraft production. The PQ-14’s predecessor, the PQ-8, was produced specifically as a radio-controlled drone for the Army Air Corps beginning in 1940 when a contract for 200 aircraft was let. These proved to be so successful, a slightly larger version with retractable tricycle landing gear, redesigned cockpit and larger more powerful engine were ordered in huge numbers as the PQ-14A.
According to official Tinker history documents and photographs, the Oklahoma City Air Depot conducted maintenance, repair and overhaul of the aircraft which was constructed of all-wood, except for the rudder which had a metal frame covered in fabric. The Franklin engine was a six-cylinder, air-cooled horizontally-opposed piston engine creating 150 horse power.
The drones were primarily used during and after WWII for aerial and anti-aircraft gunnery training and wore a vibrant red paint scheme to aid in target identification by pilots and gunners.
The PQ-14 was manned by a single pilot usually, but had two seats. Manned operations were conducted for training and ferry flights while the aircraft was flown by radio remote-control when acting as a target.
The ‘Cadet’ was so successful in its role it was also purchased by the Army Air Corps for the U.S. Navy which designated it the TD2C-1. The Navy purchased 1,201 TD2C-1s.
Aircraft type: PQ-14
Crew: 1 ferry pilot (or unmanned)
Power plant: One Franklin O300 piston engine
In-service dates: 1942-1946
Number produced: 2043
Tinker connection: Maintenance, repair and overhaul