Planes of Fame Air Museum
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Home »  Collection »  Flying & Static Aircraft »  Howard DGA-5 Ike #39 'Miss Chevrolet'


  • Following the success of his DGA-3 Pete racer in the 1930 and 1931 air races, designer Benny Howard began work on two new racers in early 1932. These would become the DGA-4 Mike, race number 38, and the DGA-5 Ike, race number 39. ("DGA" stood for "Damned Good Airplane.") Externally, the two racers were almost identical, the differences being in the landing gear and cowling cooling vents. Both were powered by 489 cubic inch Menasco Buccaneer engines. The engine in Ike was designed to operate on higher octane fuel than the engine in Mike.
  • Mike and Ike had fabric-covered welded chrome molybdenum fuselages, with aluminum cowlings and tailcones. The wings and tail surfaces had wooden spars and ribs, with fabric covering. The wings and landing gear were wire-braced. Ike initially had a peculiar twin-tandem wheel layout on each main gear, but this was replaced with a standard single-tire design following the 1932 races.
  • Ike was entered in six events at the 1932 National Air Races, with Benny Howard at the controls for three races, in which he claimed two first-place and one second-place finishes. Both Ike and Mike were raced through the 1937 season, with 1935 being the banner year for the Howard camp. His racers won the Bendix, Thompson, and Greve trophies.
  • Ike was sponsored by Chevrolet, so it carried the name "Miss Chevrolet" on the spine behind the cockpit. It was equipped with a special carburetor which allowed it to capture the world's speed record for inverted flight.



Status: Replica
Manufacturer: Howard Aircraft Corporation
Year: Replica based on 1932 aircraft
Model: DGA-5 Ike Miss Chevrolet
Registration Number: NR56Y
Serial Number: 
Crew: 1
Max T/O Weight: 1,194 lb.
Span: 20 ft. 1 in.
Length: 17 ft. 3 in.
Height: 7 ft. 11 in.
Maximum Speed: 241 mph
Cruise Speed: 175 mph
Rate of Climb: N/A
Power Plant: 1 × inverted Menasco C-6-S Buccaneer 6-cylinder inline air-cooled engine
Range: N/A
Service Ceiling: N/A
Armament: None


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