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I seem to recall we had some discussion on the Howard 500 conversion of the Ventura into a high speed executive transport quite a while back, and while looking for some reference photos on another Lockheed/Vega aircraft, I stumbled upon a site that has a description, history, and photos of the  airplane. IIRC @rob Lyttle was either working on a conversion or was wanting information on it, so I hope the old Mk 1a memory banks haven't failed me yet again. I think there are only two flyable examples in existence- both owned by the same person! I saw the 1st one built on the Dee Howard ramp in San Antonio when I was a teen- had no idea how significant it was at the time!

Mike

 

https://www.deehoward.org/the-dee-howard-legacy/innovations/howard-aero-innovations/item/howard-500

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WAvfJGCqE40

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m8YogYSBcmU

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6HBmeWL-or0

 

Edited by 72modeler
added link

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Saw N500LN at various warbird meets in the 1980s - West Malling for instance. Glad to see it's still around.

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Glad I scanned those negatives now! I see from my photos that it appeared one year with few markings and another time with the word 'Baker' either side of the fuselage, aft of the cockpit.

 

West Malling (13)

 

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I  love these old hot-rods. I have a spare Ventura, having several years ago picked up the nice Revell 1/48 kit for practically nothing from The Works. I more recently bought the RAF boxing with its different turret for next to nothing too, so the US Navy one is available for experimentation. I thought it would be good to do a civilian what-if, a ghost plane, a slightly battered, down-at-heel smuggler aeroplane, much as many were used in and out of various of the more southerly US states and Central / South American countries. 

 

Kind of a Lockheed precursor to the Millenium Falcon.

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5 hours ago, Work In Progress said:

I have a spare Venturahaving several years ago picked up the nice Revell 1/48 kit for practically nothing

I know, @Work In Progress. Don't know what's going on, but these are great kits! 

I've got 2 PV1 and I've started into one of them very much in the style you are talking about. 

And trying to make something of the fantastic Fowler flaps on these planes. 

Once I get a the little Airfix Hudson sorted into an L14 Super Electra , I'll be able to get on with it 

 

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Yes, I have one of those on the stocks too. I can't decide whether to sort out the fairly glaring accuracy problems of the tail or just convert it and not worry. 

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1 hour ago, Work In Progress said:

fairly glaring accuracy problems of the tail or just convert it and not worry. 

I need to look at the tail end then. I haven't really had a good look at the tail parts yet. 

What do you have on this?? 

My style is to try your best with what's in the kit and have a good time doing it. 

So I say do it and not worry!! 

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The elevator being correctly a single unit with a straight linge line (or it would not be able to move) rather than two separate control surfaces.

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Okay, I've come across this with the Hudson /L14 Super Electra. 

Airfix made a right mess of it back then, but it can be sorted into this 

IMG_20190415_220807

 

But does that apply to the Lodestar and Ventura?? And the Howard makeover? 

As I looked into the Hudson type, I came across a fair bit of material suggesting that the later types have 2 separate elevators. 

And in fact it was THIS that causes enough confusion for Airfix (and others) to make a Hudson with 2 elevator pieces. 

So (I'm suggesting) this airframe is a Ventura.... 

img205v

 

I found so much conflicted information on this that at one point I concluded that the L14 had the one-piece and the military Hudson had the split design! 

Drawings can not be trusted, and good photos of the Tailplane are hard to come by, and the picture TITLE can definitely not be trusted! 

Have another look and see what you come up with. 

I got a feeling that the big kit is correct, but I'm on a steep learning curve with this. 

Any info you get I'd be glad to see 

Edited by rob Lyttle
Clarity

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@Work In Progress

  Further to that topic, the ICM Lodestar kit happens to come with both versions of the Tailplanes, and instructions to discard the one-piece elevator version (the sprue is marked "Hudson"),  and use the other parts, which def feature 2 separate elevators, and they're on the same sprue as the Lodestar fuselage halves. 

So they've gone to the trouble of tooling new Tailplanes to resolve the issue for their kit. 

And the Ventura derives straight from the L18 Lodestar. 

Edited by rob Lyttle
Clarity

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When I said "fairly glaring accuracy problems of the tail or just convert it and not worry " I was talking specifically about the Airfix Hudson being wrong as a Hudson or a Model 14.

I was not referring to Lodestars and Venturas which are different.

 

The Howard 500 has no substantial airframe commonality with the Hudson so no aspect of the Airfix Hudson is relevant to it. It does have split elevators, as I am sure you know.

The tail is the only major airframe component of a Howard 500 which is actually in common with a Lockheed type: it is the Lodestar/Ventura tail design.

 

HW-500.10.jpg

 

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OK @Work In Progress I'm totally with you now.

Great little plane.... A hotrod, like you say. 

I know the first Lockheed Twins far out-performed anything the military had at the time, and they just got better and better! 

👍

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I remember asking about a Howard 500 a while back. I think I was asking about the practicalities of converting a Ventura or something similar. Seems it's not really doable. I too saw one at West Malling in 1983, hence the reason I want one as I am building a collection with that theme. Maybe one day?

 

Steve

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5 hours ago, fightersweep said:

I remember asking about a Howard 500 a while back. I think I was asking about the practicalities of converting a Ventura or something similar. Seems it's not really doable. I too saw one at West Malling in 1983, hence the reason I want one as I am building a collection with that theme. Maybe one day?

 

Steve

Although difficult, I think a conversion from a Ventura is well within reach.   There are some major changes (fuselage extension and nacelles) and a lot of nuances but the basic airframe is a solid starting point.

 

I've been making plans for just such a project, a Howard series consisting of the H250, H350, H400 and H500.  I got started on an On Mark Marketeer/Marksman/Tempo II project first, but the Howards are next in line. 

 

Eric aka The Yankymodeler

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Full size, no. it's a complete new-build fuselage and wing, not a conversion of anything. 

Model-wise, definitely do-able but it will be major surgery, If I can pick up an Academy Ventura I might give it a go.

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3 hours ago, Work In Progress said:

Full size, no. it's a complete new-build fuselage and wing, not a conversion of anything. 

Model-wise, definitely do-able but it will be major surgery, If I can pick up an Academy Ventura I might give it a go.

True.  The 'real' Howard 500 had a re-engineered and a completely new build  fuselage to handle the stress of pressurization and a new center section with an expanded span and increased fuel capacity.  I assumed the discussion is of modelling the aircraft and a Ventura base is an appropriate starting point for both the H500 and the unpressurized earlier variants.   Dee Howard's brilliance was in refining the basically good aerodynamics of the Ventura into what was needed in a new era.  So, for modelling the H500 a Ventura can be a good base to begin.

 

Eric aka The Yankymodeler

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The big Revell 1.48 PV1 Ventura kit is quite a boxful of gear, and I don't really see why it is being sold off so widely and cheaply. 

I'm also looking at simpler options, where a warsurplus airframe is picked up and knocked into shape for passengers as simply as possible. 

And what are the chances of working a PV1 Ventura kit like this back to a C60 Lodestar? 

Fascinating stuff and a great line of Planes 

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Thanks for the info guys. Very helpful indeed. So the takeaway from this is that it is possible to convert a Ventura to a Howard 500, but it's not going to be easy. Next big question then would be if there are any available plans for the Howard 500? The aircraft I wish to do is the one photographed above taken at West Malling. The photos I have are all from 1983 and it's the only type I have missing from my project. I don't mind a good conversion project. I'm currently trying to hammer a Fiat G.46 out of a G.55 and a lot of fun that is proving to be!

 

Steve

 

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5 hours ago, rob Lyttle said:

Trying out a link to Howard 500 info. 

See if it works. 

It probably works for you Rob, but if you want others to see it you'll need to change the access permissions to make it public.

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I started one years ago using two Ventura kits. I have yet to find a decent plan, so the wing is still a mystery to me. The Air Britain Lockheed Twins book was my main reference. It's just another resident on the shelf of doom for now.

 

spacer.png

 

Edited by Aerobat

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Rob- very interesting post on the history and description of the Howard 500; I guess like the diesels replacing the fuel-hungry and maintenance intensive steam locos, the same fate befell the beautifully designed and built 500 versus the jet turbines. That being said, the sight and sound of a 500 beats the socks off of any biz jet, in my biased opinion! 

 

Aerobat- I would continue with your conversion, as what you have done so far looks very, very nice!

 

Mike

Edited by 72modeler
corrected spelling

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