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Howard DGA-15P version 2.1.0

Update February 13th 2021: Model updated to version 2.1.0

On behalf of Steve Baugh a.k.a. Humbug01 (X-Plane.Org user) we’re pleased with Steve’s approval to host his Howard DGA-15P package version 2.1.0.

The modeled X-Plane 11.5x model
The enclosed X-Plane 11.50 model is of the historic GA aircraft, the Howard DGA-15P. The model began life as a freeware FS98-FSX model shell which I converted to the 3D modelling program, AC3D, and completely overhauled and rebuilt for X-Plane 11 over the last four or five months. Please see the enclosed “credits.txt” file for details.

The model has been tested in X-Plane 11.50 and 11.51 (but not with the experimental flight model). This is version 1.0 with many improvements and small fixes planned for the future (e.g., the 3D Wasp Jr. is only half done). But it handles very well and looks pretty nice for the most part. My real interest in model development is in 3D panels and custom instruments with nearly a dozen provided here to match the real-world Howard DGA-15P (though because these 80+ year old aircraft are restored there is a *lot* of variety in instruments today). The radios are loosely modeled on the Becker RMU-5000, but I may put in a Garmin 530 or make some sort of moving map in the future. I also plan to release a “paint kit” for this model in the future, and I would be happy to work with a painter to show him or her what goes where. The interior in particular is very plain and shows the need for an expert painter to help out if anyone is willing.

This aircraft is released as FREEWARE. No commercial use of these files is permitted, but they may be distributed and changed for non-commercial use as long as credit to the original authors is provided. And a special thanks to Pedrovl on the X-Plane.org forum for help with a fuel pressure problem caused by the three in-line fuel tanks which I never would have figured out myself.

Steve Baugh a.k.a. Humbug01 (January 2021)

The History
The Howard DGA-15P is the most common variant of the Howard aircraft still flying. It was built commercially beginning in 1936 the year after the designer, Benny Howard’s “Mister Mulligan” won both the Bendix and Thompson trophies for speed and endurance–the only plane ever to do this. The DGA (” Good Airplane”)-15P variants today are mostly restored military variants from WWII (e.g., U.S. Navy GH-1 to GH-4 used as air ambulances, personal transport, and instrument training).

The Howard is well-known to be a fast, comfortable aircraft that is somewhat hard to land but very stable in the air in part because the gas tanks are low in the belly, and has an enthusiastic following (e.g., www.howardaircraft.org). It has been said that if the DHC-2 Beaver is a great pick-up truck, the Howard is a stately old Buick. There are a few dozen or more youtube videos of the Howard in flight including one where the pilot does a barrel roll. (I don’t recommend it on the model – it breaks the artificial horizon–don’t ask me how I know!).

Specifications:
Powerplant: 450 hp Pratt & Whitney R-985 Wasp Junior
Length: 25 ft
Wingspan: 38 ft
Empty weight: 2,705 lb
Useful load: 1,645 lb
Max gross weight: 4,350 lb
Max speed at MSL: 195 mph (sources vary from 190 to 201 mph)
(MP 36.5 in.; prop. 2300 rpm)

Climb: 1200-1500 fpm (MP 30 in.; prop. 2000 rpm)
Average cruise speed: 160 mph indicated (MP 28 in.; prop. 1850 rpm)
Never exceed speed: 270 mph
Landing speed: 78 mph
Stall speed: around 65 mph
Service Ceiling: 21,000 ft
Fuel capacity in three belly tanks: 151 gal
Front 30 gal
Main 88 gal
Rear 33 gal
Range: about 1,000 nm

What’s new with version model 2.0?
The Howard DGA-15P was developed by Benny Howard from his highly successful 1930s racer, Mister Mulligan, and saw extensive use in WWII as an air ambulance and other functions. You will find the full story in some of the magazine articles in the /documents folder of the download. And please do read the “readme.txt” file enclosed. I have made literally hundreds of changes to this model from Version 1.0. Some are visible and some are not. Here are a few of the main things you may want to note:

  • The “AUX” switch on the panel table is a second way to control the elevator trim. I added this in case it’s easier than reaching up to turn the crank in the overhead (which is how the original worked).
  • I added an elevator trim knob on the left of the panel table. (There is no aileron trim on the real aircraft.)
  • Both front windows now operate with window cranks.
  • The baggage door now opens and closes but only from outside. We don’t want young passengers opening the door in-flight!
  • The cabin is not so bare as it was earlier, but this is just an ugly temporary fix. The new seats and decore are on back-order but coming sometime.
  • There is now a paint kit in the paint_kit subfolder. See the readme.txt file there please.
  • The prop is brand new with a new hub and 3D components of the engine.
  • There are *TWO* versions of the prop appearance. One has a spinner and one has the hub. The hub is default, so if you want the spinner to display open the “prop_engine_options.zip” file in the “objects” subfolder and follow the readme.txt file there.
  • If you are re-painting this aircraft, I have provided basic normal files, but if you want different appearance like shiny metal on the fuselage and wings you will have to activate the “NORMAL_METALNESS” line in the fuselage.obj and wings.obj files and then play with the normal files. I only suggest doing this if you know how all this works. The paintkit has a file on the “Howard_Object_Headers” explaining this.
  • The sound is new and more throaty. I welcome help with the sounds if someone has experience and talent in this department; I just hacked it as best I could. I started this project thinking I’d just make a panel and a few instruments . . .
  • This version contains three liveries, two have kindly been provided by Dennis Powell who has worked very hard on them.
  • In the /documents folder you will find the “DGA-15P Pilot Operating Handbook.pdf” which I highly recommend you read for flying this aircraft. However, here are a few quick notes (based on real-world) to get you started:
  • Takeoff – full power for one minute with full flaps. Lifts off around 80 MPH. Stall with drop and spin to the left at around 64 MPH is easy to recover. Vne is 270 MPH.
  • Climb – 30″ Hg. manifold pressure with prop at 2000 RPM – the Howard will easily climb at about 1900 FPM
  • Cruise – 28″ Hg. manifold pressure with prop at 1850 RPM – she will cruise at around 175 MPH at sea level and close to 200 MPH true at higher altitudes for 1000 miles on the three belly tanks

I release this project as freeware for the enjoyment of the X-Plane community. Please see the enclosed readme.txt file for details. Many people on X-Plane.org deserve my thanks for help and encouragement on the project. THANK YOU!

All the best,

Steve Baugh a.k.a. humbug01

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Howard DGA-15P (112.8 MiB, 6 downloads)