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Jan 01, 2011, 03:29 PM
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Longhorne's Avatar
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Build Log

Fun Build 4--Scratchbuilt Howard DGA-3 "Pete"

For my Funbuild entry I’m going to break out of my current warbird focus and shift back to the Golden Age. Awhile back I ran across a photo of Benny Howard leaning against the wing of a little racer with a towering scoop in the nose and that instantly went on my scratchbuild bucket list.

Built in 1929, the DGA-3 was nicknamed “Pete” and flew on a 326cu 90hp Wright Gipsy in-line four. This setup allowed Pete to do about 160mph. That wasn’t all that fast even for its day, particularly when considering the competition Howard faced when he raced for the 1930 Thompson Trophy. He found himself up against two Travel Air Mystery Ships, the Laird Super Solution, and the ill-fated Page Racer—all of which had top ends well over 200mph. But Howard was tenacious and hung in while a number of other entrants dropped out due to mechanical failures including the fatal crash of Captain Page. When it was over Howard captured 3rd place and a purse of $2000.

While the development of Pete allowed Howard to cut his teeth as a race plane builder, this aircraft significantly advanced his career in other ways. Pete’s winnings funded the development of more powerful racers—namely Mike and Ike, and eventually Pete was sold and the proceeds went toward the development of the Mr. Mulligan. Miraculously, Ike, Mike, and Pete are all still around. Pete has flown in recent years and now lives at the Crawford Museum in Cleveland.

Like the original, my Pete will be smaller than most of the other entrants. And like Jim Young, I’ve been toying with the idea of using the small bricks that are now available and building an indoor-type flyer from scratch. I hesitated to do this now as Jim already jumped in with an Ike, but the two airframes are different enough that it should still be interesting.

Thanks very much to John for organizing this event!

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Jan 01, 2011, 04:26 PM
Aircraft Part Separator
Greg D's Avatar
Jan 01, 2011, 08:14 PM
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danrc's Avatar
Nice! More micros!
Jan 01, 2011, 11:11 PM
Summit Model Aeronautics
Steve85's Avatar
Good God, man, have you no restraint?!? The B-25, Bf-109 and now a DGA-3? We mortals struggle to put one model together while you crank out half a dozen!

Sigh. Oh well, I guess I'll console myself by following this build too...

Jan 02, 2011, 01:08 AM
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Longhorne's Avatar
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Fret not, Steve! Very little will be happening here for awhile other than collecting drawings and such. I definitely don't have the mental bandwidth to handle all three of these at once! But completion by late July sounds plenty doable.

Jan 02, 2011, 02:17 AM
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gupi's Avatar
Very interesting! I like the clean lines of this bird combined with the unusual nose.
Jan 02, 2011, 08:27 AM
It flew once before...
jofrost's Avatar
Hi Paul ,

Very neat entry !

Despite all the squawking and bickering over ARF & RTFs over the years it does come up with some innovative and affordable things that us old school modelers can use . The Parkzone "bricks" are a prime example They open up a whole new avenue of designs as we are seeing now .

Looking forward to your build and seeing how you integrate the brick into the design .

As far as the "scratchbuild" category , I will probably keep this up till someone else decides to take it over . Nobody was jumping at the opportunity

Jan 02, 2011, 02:11 PM
Registered User
Neat racer. What size will you be building?

How big a model can you run with the brick - it's limited to 2A brushed but I see it is reprogrammable for brushless in which case I suppose the servos are the limiting factor.

I'm tempted by some of the rubber models on Mike Stuarts huge ffscale site. Perhaps beyond my limited experience but if it works free flight then radio assistance might not destabilize too much ?
Unfortunately, I also have a leaning towards something more weird and original.

Jan 03, 2011, 02:20 AM
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Longhorne's Avatar
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John, that's a good way of looking at the thing. I've been flying a micro T28 with Drew so much that I'm pretty sure that it will experience airframe fatigue just in time to become an organ donor to this build!

Jerry--I'm not sure yet. The fullscale Pete had a wingspan of 20' and an inch, so 1/12 scale is a nice number. The Parkzone/E-flite ultra micro collection ranges from 15" for the sporty stuff up to 20" for the docile. AUW is under 40g for all of them. I've got some homework to do before I could say more.

As for the free-flight designs, I'm not much help to you there either. I see alot of FF designs with airfoils that don't work too well for RC, but that's an easy mod.

Jan 03, 2011, 12:05 PM
Jim Young's Avatar
Hi Paul,

Make sure to post regularly so I can steal your ideas.

My Ike is going to be laser cut later this week, then the fun will start.

Best of luck to you.

Jan 03, 2011, 04:43 PM
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Not so fast, Jim. My strategy is to talk alot and do very little until I can steal your ideas. And if you are already in the cutter's queue, then I've pretty well succeeded!

Jan 03, 2011, 05:02 PM
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danrc's Avatar
Just don't post too much or the Chinese Arf makers will steal both of your planes =)
Jan 04, 2011, 01:06 PM
Alien_Tech's Avatar
Another neat one Paul......I'm in!
Jan 04, 2011, 06:41 PM
Registered User

Covering technique

What sort of covering are you going to use. Solite with a flatting agent? Tissue? Silkspan? I'm curious about a good light weight scale covering on these small models
Jan 04, 2011, 11:06 PM
Registered User

Nice choice--any of the twins and their little brother have eye-catching looks but without the insane planforms of some of the other racers of the day. You should have a nice flyer on your hands.


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