One of kind, Ohio-born Belford D. Maule was the only founder, owner (with wife, June) and manager of an existing aircraft manufacturing company. He came to Georgia in 1968 via Pennsylvania, Virginia, Michigan and New Jersey to establish Maule Air, Inc. in Moultrie. The self-taught pilot showed mechanical aptitude early, building a tractor and motorizing an ice cream freezer and ice saw before constructing his first plane. He joined the army at age 18, and while assigned to the 19th Airship Company, Langley Field, Virginia, built a single-seat midwing monoplane, powered by an Henderson 27 HP motorcycle engine. Working with Lycoming he built "the hummer," a low cost mechanical 'starter for light aircraft and in 1940 formed Mechanical Products Company for its manufacture. The following year he organized the B. D. Maule Company to build a Maule designed light aircraft tail wheel. The company still produces an improved steerable full swiveling tail wheel.
In 1944, B.D. designed, built and flew the first successfully operated Omithopter. He began design of the current line of Maule STOL planes in 1955. By 1968, the company had delivered approximately 250 of the craft which had evolved from 145 HP fixed pitch propeller to 220 HP constant speed propeller. Recent models, noted for ruggedness, are fitted with 420 SHP Allison Turboprop engines but feature the original structural design and fuselage jig. More than 1600 aircraft were produced under direct control of B. D., assisted in business by his wife, June, and members of their family.
Belford D. Maule, individualist, entrepreneur and self-made man, was enshrined November 7, 1992.