In July 2004 we were watching for airports while driving from Fairbanks back to Anchorage, and saw one at Willow. It was a lousy photo day but there were several aircraft that couldn’t be passed up.
This Howard DGA-15P, factory c/n 898, was built as a Navy NH-1 “Blind Flying Trainer”, and was assigned Navy BuNo 44927. This is one of several Howards that is FAA registered by its Navy SN rather than the factory Construction Number.
Photo 2: Howards have a different cowling arrangement than many aircraft with radials. Note the nose ring, and then the wrap-around section over the cylinders. Then there is a wrap-around accessory cowl between the dishpan and the firewall. You can see the oil cooler there at the bottom. Obviously someone was doing some work on the aircraft. You can also see the three fuel filler caps there along the side.
Photo 3: These are pretty colors on an attractive paint scheme on a beautiful airplane. Somehow airplanes like the Howard draw a lot of adjectives out of me. This bird would be a real knockout on a clear day! The registration on the fuselage is N68189, and on the tail it is NC68189 for old-times sake.This aircraft has McDonald Brothers YD-6470 floats, made in Winnipeg, MB, Canada.
The Howard fuselage is metal back to behind the baggage door, and fabric from there aft. It has a welded, steel tubular fuselage with wood stringers to shape it. Larry and Elizabeth Todd of Wasilla, AK bought it in May 1989 and have owned it ever since. I was told by someone at the airport that it has been an active work airplane most of the years since that time. (As compared to being a “toy”, which many of them are.)
Photo 4: Note the swing-up pilot’s door that has been installed here. I don’t see a baggage door on this side, as on some other Howards I shot in Alaska. You can see where the fabric comes up to the metal on the fuselage.
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