Model Airplane News
April, 1933

Model Airplane News Cover for April, 1933 by Jo Kotula Benny Howard's Mike and Ike

Benny Howard's "Mike" and "Ike"
Model Airplane News Cover Art for April, 1933
by Jo Kotula
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Designer and test pilot Benny Howard won a lot of money in the 1930 and 1931 National Air Races with a plane called "Pete". He was also aware that "Pete" was on the way to being outclassed and if he was to remain in the winner's circle, he would have to do something about it. So early in 1932 work began on two larger racers. The end result was "Mike" and "Ike." The two racers were almost identical, the only difference being in the landing gears. They were both painted snowy white with shiny black lettering. "Mike" (DGA-4) drew license number NR-55Y and race number 38, while "Ike" (DGA-4), carried NR-56Y and race number 39.

Both racers were low-wing, wire braced monoplanes, and like "Pete" were very small and had a minimum of frontal area. There was a slight difference in weight, "Ike" being a bit lighter of the two. Both were powered by Menasco Buccaneer engines of 485 cu. in. displacement, differing in octane ratings only. The engine in "Ike" was set for a higher octane, thus giving a little boost in horsepower. The extra horsepower and being a little lighter may have accounted for "Ike" being the faster of the two in 1932. Oddly enough, it was always a toss-up as to which of the ships would be the fastest from year to year.

Wing span of both ships was 20 ft. 1 in. and the fuselage was 17 ft. Iong. The cockpit in each case was hinged on the side and closed after the pilot was inside. A large hole for the pilot's head was left open. Ventilation was assured by 30 small holes drilled in the windshield. The cockpits were small and the pilot's seat was level with the rudders. A slight difference appeared in the engine cowling, with "Mike" having less cooling louvers than "Ike" but a larger rectangular opening on the left side of the cowl for cooling. "Mike" had a cowl designed for a spinner, which was never used.

The Benny Howard's Mike and Ike      The Benny Howard's Mike and Ike

Photos of the Benny Howard's "Mike" and "Ike"
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Here is a video of the Benny Howard's "Redhead" (a variant on "Mike" and "Ike") in action:

Click Here for more information about the Howard DGA-4 "Ike".

Benny Howard was very well known and popular and any plane that he flew became well-known. Cleveland rushed to offer a kit for the airplane almost as soon as the air race results were published. This design continues to be very popular with folks who build gasoline powered models.

 Cleveland Model of the Howard Ike

Cleveland Model of Benny Howard's "Ike"
This is an early model -- others advise you how to customize it to be either "Ike" or "Mike"
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You can buy the plans and patterns that will enable you to make this model right now. Click Here to go to the exact location on the Cleveland Website to get them.

Cleveland Site Location of the yyy

zzz at the Cleveland Site
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