Project Description





Howard DGA-11

Role:  Utility Aircraft

National Origin: United States

Manufacturer: Howard

First Flight: 1936

Primary User: Private pilot owners

Number Built: 31

The Howard DGA-8, DGA-9, DGA-11, and DGA-12 were a family of four-place, single-engine, high-wing light monoplanes built by the Howard Aircraft Corporation, Chicago, Illinois from 1936.

The DGA-6’s racing success brought the DGA series much attention, and in its various permutations, differentiated mainly by different powerplants, the DGAs -8, -9, -11, -12 (and later DGA-15) emerged as coveted aircraft, owned by corporations, wealthy individuals, and movie stars, such as Wallace Beery, who was himself a pilot. Spanish conductor and pianist Jose Iturbi owned and flew a DGA-11 “El Turia” (NC22402). In an era when airlines were flying DC-3s, the Howards at 160 to 170 mph (270 km/h) could match their speed and range. The rear seat exceeded airline leg room with limousine-like spaciousness. With its high wing loading, the Howards rode through most turbulence with airline-like solidity. The -11 was probably the ultimate of the series. Configured as a four-place aircraft, with the 450 hp (340 kW) Pratt & Whitney R-985, it is graceful and powerful with perfectly classical lines.

With America’s entry into World War II, most of the civilian Howards were commandeered by the military. The Army used them as officer transports and as ambulance planes. They were used variously as an officer’s utility transport and for instrument training. The Howard was and is an excellent instrument platform, very stable and solid, especially compared to modern light aircraft.

A few of of the model DGA-11 aircraft survive. NC18207 joined the museum collection in 2022.

General characteristics

  • Crew: one, pilot
  • Capacity: 3 passengers
  • Length: 25 ft 5 in (7.75 m)
  • Wingspan: 38 ft 0 in (11.59 m)
  • Height: 8 ft 5 in (2.57 m)
  • Wing area: 185 sq ft (17.2 m2)
  • Airfoil: NACA 2R212 (reflexed)
  • Empty weight: 2,450 lb (1,111 kg)
  • Gross weight: 4,100 lb (1,860 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 4,100 lb (1,860 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Pratt & Whitney R-985 radial engine, 400-450 hp (299-336 kW)


  • Maximum speed: 196 mph (315 km/h)
  • Stall speed: 69 mph (111 km/h)
  • Never exceed speed: 288 mph (463 km/h)
  • Range: 869 nmi (1,000 mi, 1,609 km)
  • Service ceiling: 26,000 ft (7,926 m)
  • Wing loading: 22.2 lb/sq ft (108 kg/m2)
  • Power/mass: 0.11 hp/lb