Pavla Models 1/72 Culver PQ-14A
Manufacturer: Pavla Models Product Code: 72012
1/72 Culver PQ-14A
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With all the attention being paid to RPVs (Remotely Piloted Vehicles) lately, such as the Predator and Global Hawk, it was timely that I received the Pavla kit of the Culver PQ-14. It's certainly an interesting aircraft, being designed as a flying target for anti-aircraft practice. Radio control was certainly the preferred mode, as it was probably hard enough to get those P-63 pilots to fly as targets for .50 caliber guns with frangible bullets, which disintegrated on impact. Flying an aircraft that's being shot at with 90 mm guns was probably a non-starter for most fighter jocks.
The PQ-14 did have standard controls for ferry flights, and there are still a couple still in existence. It started as the Culver Cadet, a civil sport plane, but in 1940, in response to a US request for an aerial target, Culver modified the Cadet into a radio-controlled target. I think Pavla's drawing of a "PQ-14 pilot" is pretty clever, although most flights were made using a C-45 as a control aircraft.