For executive transport with a touch of luxury and a vintage pedigree, the Howard 500 more than fits the bill. This handsome twin-engine propeller aircraft was pioneered by Howard Aero in Texas in the early 1960s. Designed by Dee Howard and Ed Swearingen, it was the last radial-type engine passenger aircraft ever to be built.
Based on Howard Aero’s re-constructions of military-issue Lockheed Venturas and Lodestars for the executive market in the 1950s and 1960s, the Howard 500 was put into service in 1963. Notable owners through the 1960s and ‘70s included Chicago Gas, Southwest Forest Industries, and none other than Elvis Presley. The aircraft received the Contemporary Grand Champion Lindy Award at the EAA Oshkosh Convention in 1997.
Just two aircraft out of the seventeen built to full Howard 500 standard remain in the fleet. One belongs to the USA and the other to the UK. The aircraft’s design incorporates custom panels, animated cockpit doors, an interior cabin, curtains, and electric switch levers. Special features include hydraulic-aided boosted controls, advanced and modified avionics, anti-skid brakes, auto-squaring props, lean-back leather seats, and even a stand-up bathroom with running water.
For the ultimate luxury in the air, the Howard 500’s interior is spacious and comfortable. The fully pressurized standup cabin is 6 feet 2 inches in height, and has Rolls Royce leather seats. Low cabin sound levels and a lack of frequency interference provide a relaxed environment. The cabin can accommodate 12 people, with excellent window views for all. The pressurization system sustains low or near sea level cabin altitude in its operational range. Maximum cruising speed is 350mph at 21,000 feet, and the climb rate is 13m/s.
In the cockpit, IFR and VFR are flyable from both pilot and co-pilot positions. Multiple pop-up panels are available for one or more displays, and there is a zoom panel for the main gauges, which can be read in all conditions. Readability on night flights is possible thanks to backlit gauges.
The Howard 500’s engine is a lightweight, high-power version of the Pratt & Whitney R-2800/CB-17. The propeller hubs were selected from the F4U Corsairs aircraft, while the four-blade propellers and spinners came from DC-7S. The landing gear is similar to the PV-2, with major modifications including the airframe bonding. Avionics include an altitude indicator, radar altimeter, David Clark intercom, BFG Wx500 stormscope, and full pilot and co-pilot flight instruments.
For a piece of history equipped with all-modern systems, the Howard 500 is the ideal addition to any collection.
谈到奢华和正统的公务航空运输，我们一定会想到Howard 500。这款漂亮的双发螺旋桨飞机由德克萨斯州的Howard航空于上世纪60年代初打造。Dee Howard和Ed Swearingen设计的这款飞机是最后一款采用放射状发动机的客机。
Howard航空于上世纪50至60年代，重新设计了军用洛克希德Venturas和Lodestars飞机并进入公务航空市场， Howard 500于1963年开始交付。上世纪60至70年代，知名的机主包括芝加哥天然气、西南森林产业及埃维斯·普里斯利t美国著名摇滚明星）等社会名流。这款飞机在1997年美国奥什科什EAA飞来者大会上荣获当代最佳Lindy冠军奖。
为追求空中的极致奢华， Howard 500的内部空间非常宽敞舒适。全增压的站立式客舱高6英尺2英寸，且使用了劳斯莱斯真皮座椅。低噪音等级，缺少振动干扰，营造了舒适环境。客舱可搭载12人，全部拥有完美的舷窗视野。在其运行包线内，增压系统可维持低于或接近海平面的客舱高度。最大巡航速度为21,000英尺时350英里/小时，爬升率13米/秒。
Howard 500的发动机是普惠R-2800/CB-17的轻重量、大马力版本。螺旋桨毂选自F4U Corsairs飞机，四桨叶螺旋桨和整流罩来自DC-7。起落架与PV-2相似，但进行了诸多重要改进，包括机体融合。航电系统包括高度指示器、雷达高度表、David Clark内话系统、BFG Wx500气象雷达和全套正副驾驶飞行仪表。
作为配备了全部现代化系统的历史经典， Howard 500是理想的收藏之选。