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Thread: Any Culver Cadet / Franklin engine experts?

  1. #1
    JoeB's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Atlanta, Georgia

    Default Any Culver Cadet / Franklin engine experts?

    First off, I admit, I have a really bad habit of going to barnstormers.com about 20x's per day.

    So the Culver Cadet has caught my eye. It seems like an affordable and interesting airplane to add to the fleet.
    Besides being out of production, what is there to know about the Franklin 4AC-199? Reliability/parts availability (better or worse than our beloved O-290?) / etc.
    And the Culver Cadet, any feedback or opinions?

  2. #2


    There is a Culver Dart Gw with the Warner Scarab 5 cyl radial engine sitting at the local airport, RZT, totally stripped. The wood and airplane is in excellent condition and ready for rebuild. The IA owner knows his Culvers, engines, and tube and rag airplanes, bought a home here, the economy crashed and so did his retirement plans. He is the full time IA at the Marysville Ohio airport. 937-644-2055 If interested, call the airport and ask for Ed, the manager and IA. He can tell you about Culvers.

    Bob Chillicothe, Ohio

  3. #3
    JoeB's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Atlanta, Georgia


    Thanks Bob, hopefully he will talk some sense into me! I'll give him a call

  4. #4


    Tell him Bob from Chillicothe said hello. The Piper Pacer owners keep me posted about him activities.

  5. #5


    At one time Franklin bearings were hard to come by.

    Culver Cadet, V & Dart & the M-18 & M-20 series were all Al Mooney creations.

    The M-18 had some SERIOUS glue bond AD's.

    The M-20's also had issues.

    At one time Mooney would sell you a metal tail @ reasonable cost.

    Best get someone that REALLY knows this type of aircraft.

    Your nose may provide the "first alert".

    Tapping glue joints with the end of a screwdriver handle will tell you of a "void'

    with a dull "thunk".

    Yes; you do check ALL the joints.

    It could be the BEGINNING of a project.

  6. #6


    Say hi to Ed Rusch for me. I was looking at the Dart project
    Lloyd had when I bought the Vagabond.

  7. #7


    Check the ADs in the M-18. Last I hear there was an invasive inspection to be made YEARLY to some of the wood parts that required uncovering part and recovering. The Culver doesn't have an AD like that as far as I know.
    Still check ADs on any aircraft.
    I always loved the look of the culvers and had the hots for a PQ14B with the 155 Franklin.
    As I remember the Franklins were a little down on power to the Continentals but were solid engines.
    They have replacable cam bearings and thus did not suffer the low oil pressure problems from a worn case.
    Perhaps parts are still available from the PZL factory or whoever is building them in Poland.
    I think the US representatives may have thrown in the towel recently, but I am not sure.
    The Culver has always been a nice flying airplane and I admit to having an unsatisfied intrest in them as well.

    Best of luck.


  8. #8


    Joe B.

    Have you seen the home built version. I think that this would be the way to go! http://www.ibeatyouthere.com/culver/stfhome.html

    Last edited by Vagabondblues; 11-29-2011 at 03:43 PM.

  9. #9


    How do they compare to a Swift? I see those every now and then. They look fun as well.


  10. #10



    I own a Culver Cadet (with a Continental engine, so I can't tell you much about the Franklin). Unfortunately I've only been able to fly mine about 13 hours. They are a super fun little airplane. 120+ mph cruise, very stable, and very responsive controls. Full aileron and elevator inputs take about half the throw and half the effort of the average type certificated airplane. The retractable landing gear is a lot of fun too. Although it's very important to check the glue joints on any wood airplane, I've not found any evidence of any accidents related to glue failures on the Culver Cadet (which is probably why there are no ADs for that). I've delved pretty deep into the history of the Cadet, so feel free to send me a private message if you'd like to talk about any other questions or details on the airplane.


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