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OAKLAND Centaurus (N500HP) - Now here's an aircraft that will put hair on your chest! This is an ultra rare Howard 500, an executive transport built in the early 1960s. The Howard 500 was the result of collaboration between aircraft designers Dee Howard and Ed Swearingen. The aircraft was noted to have exceptional performance, able to cruise at 300 knots and 21,000 feet. Sadly, this is another story of the right aircraft at the wrong time. By the early 60s, the executive market was already being taken over by turboprop aircraft such as the Grumman Gulfstream 1 and the Howard 500 struggled to compete on the market. In the end, only 22 of these stunning aircraft were built. There are now only 2 airworthy in the world and both are operated out of Minnesota. br /Luck would have it that N500HP stopped by the Fort Worth Alliance Airport and I was able to catch the start up and departure of this stunning classic. If only you could hear those R-2800s roaring!
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OAKLAND Centaurus (N500HP)

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Now here's an aircraft that will put hair on your chest! This is an ultra rare Howard 500, an executive transport built in the early 1960s. The Howard 500 was the result of collaboration between aircraft designers Dee Howard and Ed Swearingen. The aircraft was noted to have exceptional performance, able to cruise at 300 knots and 21,000 feet. Sadly, this is another story of the right aircraft at the wrong time. By the early 60s, the executive market was already being taken over by turboprop aircraft such as the Grumman Gulfstream 1 and the Howard 500 struggled to compete on the market. In the end, only 22 of these stunning aircraft were built. There are now only 2 airworthy in the world and both are operated out of Minnesota.
Luck would have it that N500HP stopped by the Fort Worth Alliance Airport and I was able to catch the start up and departure of this stunning classic. If only you could hear those R-2800s roaring!

Comments

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Diana Rose
Whatta Beaut! And that's just the exterior. Thank you!
Mark Harris
I'm a UK-based aviation enthusiast and had never heard of this beautiful aircraft until today - thank you for sharing!
Mark Ryalls
Beautiful aircraft. I was flying for a company on a King Air. The boss was interested in buying one of these. I was so hopeful that he succeeded, but it never happened. This was in the early 1970s.
James Driskell
I understand that it's a handful to fly. There is a video available that shows the interactions in the cockpit during takeoff to cruise.
RAY LLOYD
What a beautiful picture of a beautiful aeroplane.
Charlie North
So nice every time I see them. Forty years ago I spent time as an A&P doing wiring work related to new radios being installed, which I expect are no longer is them. The IA I was working under did a high speed taxi, plane was not licensed to fly at the time. I was right seat. Damn they accelerate hard, I would love a ride in one some time. Hope it is at OSH again, love to be near it.
melvyn jamieson
What a magnificent Aircraft. I have never seen one before.
I spent half of my working life in Aviation around the world, the other half at Sea.
I love the early Jet Age and the late Piston Age and am a DC3 fanatic and the larger variants but this photograph is going on the wall.
She is just beautiful.
It is a pity that only two remain flying.
We are so short-sighted when it comes to Aircraft preservation.
I live in Rep of Ireland and shall look at this photograph daily.
Mel. j.
frank theriault
Gorgeous aircraft!
Dan Chiasson
This girl was made to FLY! Looks fantastic in the air but a bit "duck-like" on terra firma. Must be an expensive hobby for the owner with those 36 cylinders of P&W power up front!
Tom Fox
There are a few airplanes whose lines and design look this good. P-51, Connie, etc.
Robert Day
Very nice. keep it flying!
Tony Di Bona
Nice catch!
budcausey
What a gorgeous photo of a truly gorgeous aircraft!! What a shame that there are only 2 airworthy that remain of this magnificent plane!!
Eric Strodthoff
Rockstar.
Gary Grogan
Amazing, would love to know if they are privately owned, and are the cabins seated, or do they have sleepers, and dining availability?
Bror Monberg
The romance of flight.
William Owens
This looks very similar to the Lockheed Lodestar Model 18. You can find a very similar photo of one taken over Houston Texas in 1948 at this URL
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockheed_Model_18_Lodestar#/media/File:Lockheed_Model_18_Lodestar_over_Houston,1947-48.jpg
This is identical to the two my dad bought from military surplus in 1964 or 65.. to be converted to executive transport.
William Owens
This looks very similar to the Lockheed Lodestar Model 18. You can find a very similar photo of one taken over Houston Texas in 1948 at this URL
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockheed_Model_18_Lodestar#/media/File:Lockheed_Model_18_Lodestar_over_Houston,1947-48.jpg
This is identical to the two my dad bought from military surplus in 1964 or 65..
fholbert
Great picture! Thanks for the write-up, wish more did that. 5 STARS!
adelma
Gorgeous! Yes, there is a definite Lockheed connection. It was essentially an all-new airplane, using some Lockheed components. Great shot!
Jeff satterwhite
I used to see these working line service at KTUL years ago. Unfortunately, one of the real nice ones was bought and converted to haul drugs, think it was destroyed in Georgia.
Ronald McCullough
Used to be one of these at North Perry Airport, West
hollywood, florida. late 60's. I had just finished my twin/instrument
ratings. Beautiful aircraft.
Greg Byington
Very nice!
Frank Austin
They were beautiful planes. However, the cost of av gas was not what it is now. I hope they keep this girl flying.
Ken Lane
I can add little more than what has already been said here. I lived in Hollywood (Fla.) in the 1960s and heard some loud noises in the sky - could it have been one of these guys? Yahoo!
sal derosa
A rare beauty with engines that sing! She makes my heart pump faster!!!
Terry Wright
Thanks for your resume. Being in the UK this one is new to me too.
melvyn jamieson
Jeff said one was destroyed after carrying drugs. Destroy the people but not the Aircraft it had done nothing wrong.
VERY SHORT-SIGHTED AND ILLOGICAL.
Mel. J.
jesse kyzer
Lockheed PV-1 Ventura (Howard 500), N500HP
royalbfh
I was lucky enough to be in Deluth a few years ago and get to do a short tour of this airplane. and you are correct, what a sound these engines make. He made a flyby and put goosebumps on my arms!! (under several layers of clothing)
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