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P_7878

HW500 - a few images of the 1960's Piston Bizplane

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I used to often fly this (FW) SIM aircraft, a long while ago, and just noticed, today, a newer version of this classic plane in the library (for FSX/P3DV4) - with 16 classic liveries in the package. I thought would share a few snapshots of those nice (old-fashioned) repaints of this remarkable aircraft.

Howard 500 was the ultimate Piston Bizplane, but it had arrived a bit too late on the consumer scene. Along with its luxurious, spacious, and well-appointed interior cabin, it was one last hooray of the (glorious) Piston era. It was the world’s last production radial-engine passenger transport and the most advanced piston twin ever built, civil or military. Most people assumed, upon learning the plane was called Howard 500, that the (famed) Howard Hughes, of the Howard Aircraft Company, was involved. But, the design was actually the brain-child of Dee Howard, another classic American entrepreneur, inventor, pioneer, self-taught engineer, and founder of Howard Aero Inc. Born in California, in 1915, Dee Howard, moved to San Antonio, TX, before he was 2.  He never finished ninth grade and went to work at age 15 in an automotive shop. Within a year, he found a job as an aircraft mechanic’s helper and quickly climbed up the ladder of aviation jobs and FAA ratings to become a staff for Braniff Airlines.

During the 1950s/1960s, Howard Aero Inc. was already manufacturing military surplus of the Lockheed Lodestars and Lockheed Venturas for the executive market. Howard 500 had evolved from these variants (some resemblance but a significantly new design). Howard 500 first flew in September 1959, and it used the propeller derivative engines of those used on DC-6/DC-7 (the famous P&W R-2800, arguably the most remarkable piston aircraft engine ever built). However, by the time, Howard 500's certification was achieved in 1963, the executive market was already dominated with newer turboprop entrants, and it could not establish a viable foot-hold in the market. Only 22 samples were produced. Today, only two are reportedly still flying.  

The aircraft and liveries, here, are due to Milton Shupe and Team. You've probably seen/flown these in the past, but, anyway, thanks for viewing, and hopefully enjoy these pictures one more time. [FW(Howard-500),MSE(Hawaii),REX]

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.. I think I'll pass... There seems to be a chronic failure of gear retraction on all of the airframes in the screenshots..  :biggrin: :tongue:

Ahem.. on a serious note there are some rather nice liveries on a not unattractive aeroplane. Cheers.

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5 hours ago, HighBypass said:

.. I think I'll pass... There seems to be a chronic failure of gear retraction on all of the airframes in the screenshots..  :biggrin: :tongue:

Ahem.. on a serious note there are some rather nice liveries on a not unattractive aeroplane. Cheers.

 

Thanks, Mark. Yes, probably should have retracted the gears to demonstrate they indeed work...🙂...

Patrick: Agree, it's a classic...as I read a bit more about it, I am getting convinced of it...

BTW, the story of Dee Howard (and his company Howard Aero Inc.'s) fight for survival against Leroy Grumman's (innovative and timely-launched Gulfstream program) is truly fascinating and somewhat heartbreaking too...

While Dee Howard (a master of war-bird conversion and a piston engine purist) stuck with his Pistons trying to get the best out of those engines (and he did!), Leroy marched on w/ his Gulfstream line powered by (state of the art) RR Dart turboprop engines. The competition was not fair...Dee introduced novel designs in the plane and amenities in the cabin to make HW 500 more attractive, but the eventual defeat of HW 500 was pre-determined against the Gulfstream...

The panoramic windows in the cabin, and also note the "two" pairs of windows in the bathroom of the HW 500 (you can see them as two tiny windows close-together towards the rear of the fuselage (on both sides of the plane))....Windows in the bathroom...🙂... in a passenger plane was un-heard of at that time....and rather uncommon even today...

In any case, Howard Aero and HW 500 remain the last chapter and the bold end to the classic piston-engined era of aircraft...

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Another updated beauty from Shupe and team. 

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