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Buhl Aircraft Company

Buhl Aircraft Company
Founded Detroit-Marysville, Michigan U.S. (1925 (1925))
Founder Buhl family of Detroit
Headquarters Detroit, Michigan, United States
Key people
Alfred V. Verville, Etienne Dormoy

The Buhl Aircraft Company is a US aircraft manufacturer founded in Detroit in 1925 with operation until 1933. Buhl designed and manufactured the Buhl-Verville CA-3 Airster, first aircraft to receive a US civil aviation type Certificate in March 1927. Several utility and sport aircraft models were developed from 1925 to 1931, both fixed wings and rotary wing aircraft. Relative success came with the Buhl Airsedan and Buhl Bull Pup, with manufacturing numbers over one hundred sixty from 1927 to 1932.


The Buhl Aircraft Company was founded in 1925 by the Buhl family of Detroit. Lawrence D. Buhl hired Etienne Dormoy and Alfred Verville, both former aeronautical engineers from the Engineering Division of the United States Army Air Service at McCook Field (Dayton, OH).

Buhl manufactured the first aircraft to receive an Approved Type Certificate. Certificate #1 was awarded to Buhl for the Buhl-Verville CA-3 Airster in March 1927.

Buhl aircraft won a number of speed and endurance records and placed in the top in the Ford National Reliability Air Tour, the National Air Races. The Buhl AirSedan "Spokane Sun-God" was the first aircraft to make a non-stop US transcontinental round-trip flight on 15 August 1929.

Their first plane was made in late 1925. It was a commercial type of aircraft, suited to carrying passengers, aerial photography, insecticide dusting, training student pilots, and light cargo use. The plane featured folding wings, bearing and guiding surfaces interchangeability, an adjustable stabilizer, and wide-tracked axleless landing gear. The aircraft had a gasoline tank with a capacity of forty gallons and could fly a maximum of five hours on this quantity of fuel. It was tested at Packard Field in Utica, Michigan.[1][2] Alfred Verville was the chief designer from the company's founding in 1925 until 1927, the CA-3 Airster was developed and certified, 20 were manufactured.[3]

Etienne Dormoy filled his space afterward, developed the Buhl AirSedan, Buhl CA-1 and Buhl Bull Pup. The number of Buhl Bull Pup manufactured between 1930 and 1932 exceeded one hundred.[4]

Dormoy also designed a rotary wing aircraft opted for air camera work in 1930. To this end he designed the Buhl A-1, an autogiro with a push propeller engine located behind the pilot and camera operator.[5]



  1. ^ New Airplane Tested, Wall Street Journal, December 11, 1925, pg. 11.
  2. ^ Little known airports in Michigan, Packard Field.
  3. ^ Donald M. Pattillo (1998). A History in the Making: 80 Turbulent Years in the American General Aviation Industry. p. 9.  
  4. ^ "Buhl". Retrieved 2014-05-23. 
  5. ^ "The Buhl A-1 Autogiro"
  6. ^ "Autogiro With Engine Behind Is Pushed Through Air" Popular Mechanics, March 1932

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