Viewing page 21 of 38

Pioneer Test Pilot Flying Boat Instructor

David H. McCulloch was born at Port Royal, Pennsylvania April 23, 1891. Information is lacking concerning his early life and education, but evidently he was born of wealthy parents.

While on a visit to Hammondsport, New York, to visit the Hildreth family during the late summer of 1912, McCulloch was fascinated by the flying of Curtiss water planes on Lake Keuka and had some rides in a flying boat. He was so completely impressed by the sport that he enrolled for instruction and place on order for a boat.

He was taught to fly by Francis "Doc" Wildman and by mid-October had completed his course. Hiw new boat was delivered to him there in early December and he began flying it at once. The Curtiss persuaded him to go to South America as a sales representative to demonstrate flying boats and hydroaeroplans. "Doc" Wildman was to go with him for a short time to help get the venture started.

They sailed on December 28, 1912, with a new Curtiss flying boat and one hydroaeroplane and McCulloch expected to be on this assignment for about one year. They were to give no public exhibitions but to devote their time to government demonstrations and sales efforts. Curtiss representative Charles Champlin went ahead about one month before their departure to arrange schedules.

In late January, 1913, they were in Brazil where they soon sold five flying boats. Moving on to Argentina three planes were sold in February and McCulloch was to supervise the assembly and test of these planes, with an extensive program of demonstrations and sales planned for other South American countries. On April 15th McCulloch took President Hermes da Fonesca 
Please note that the language and terminology used in this collection reflects the context and culture of the time of its creation, and may include culturally sensitive information. As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology. The information within this collection does not reflect the views of the Smithsonian Institution, but is available in its original form to facilitate research. For questions or comments regarding sensitive content, access, and use related to this collection, please contact