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PROFILE- IRVEN CULVER
Design Engineer Inventer
By Willis Hawkins
Irven Harold Culver's career activities included aerospace engineering, research and
experimentation. He worked for Lockheed Aircraft 27 years; Southwest Industries 13
years and as consultant to many companies in the free world. Beginning in his early
teens, Mr. Culver designed and flew model airplanes, gliders, sailplanes and power
planes. He was a pilot for over 60 years and devised piloting concepts necessary to
safety of flight that remain valid now.
At Lockheed he worked on the P-39, Constellation, F-80, F104, X-7, Q-5 drone missile,>br>
X-17 re-entry test vehicle, Polaris Missile, helicopter model 475, XH-51 helicopter,
P-3 Orion , U-2, XP-80, Backbrid and many other projects. 1943 worked on F-80 project
"The Skunk Works". While working on the supersonic transport, he helped develop the
sonic boom theory. He worked with Albert Einstein at Cal-Tech on a feasibility study
of airborne nuclear reactors as primary aircraft power plants.
He consulted in the fields of flight dynamics, gas dynamics, orbital mechanics,
structures, aeroelastics, stability and control, servomechanics, handling qualities,
mechanical design theory, flight instrumentation, human factors and related subjects.
He holds some 25 U.S. and Foreign Patents for work done at Lockheed. Culver held
professional memberships in the AIAA, AHS, EAA and AOPA. Aviation honors and awards
First place award-altitude gain - Torrey Pines Glider Contest, 1928. He was 17 years
old. Designed and built himself.
Soaring Society of America award for best new sailplane design, 1941.
Honorary Colonel U.S. Air Force, for theoretical work in pilot escape systems during
World War 2.
Awarded membership in American Rocket Society-1954
Lockheed Honor Roll of Inventors, for aerodynamics and photography in 1963.
Made Honorary Felloe, Socity of Experimental Test Pilots, 1994.
Hall of Fame for the Soaring Society of America
National Soaring Museum honored and featured him for his many contributions,1996
The Air and Space Museum branch of Smithsonian Institution periodically display
some of Culver's contributions and patents.
Mr. Culver was a licensed pilot since 1929, Culver frequently flies his own
private plane to Mexico, Canada, and Alaska, often on LERC Pilots Club flights.
Both him and his wife Ruth, are enthusiastic members.
As of August 13, 1999 My Grandfather passed away. He was very hurt and was alone.
My Grandmother passed before he did in April 1994 and life was just not the same
with out her. Here are 3 Websites the have my Grandfather.
Here is 2 photos of planes he has designed in his life time.
Here is another photo of a plane he designed
Here is another photo of an award he received.
Grandfather with Grandmother
Grandfather with Grandmother heheheh cute huh
Grandfather at home :)
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