A half century ago, the 280 kt., 1,800-nm range Howard 500 represented the pinnacle of business aviation's Big Piston Era. Durrell Unger “Dee” Howard of San Antonio, Texas, built 16 of these 5,000-hp beasts before losing the sales war to Leroy Grumman's new turboprop Gulfstream in the early 1960s. In May 2012, Tony Phillippi, owner of two airworthy Howard 500 twins, invited us to fly N500HP, s.n. 105 — the fifth aircraft to roll out of the San Antonio plant. The ...


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