Howard DGA-3 Pete (oz11625)


Howard DGA-3 Pete (oz11625) by Paul Kohlmann 2016 - plan thumbnail

About this Plan

Howard DGA-3 Pete Racer. Radio control scale model for electric power, with UMX brushed or E-Flite BL180 motor. Wingspan 20 in, wing area 75 sq in. Scale is 1/12.

Note this plan is a free download available from the Model Aviation site at where it appears along with the full build text and some great build pics. Also a free download of the plan in tiled format.

Quote: "Some time ago, while looking for a new aircraft to design, I ran across a photo of a little racer with a towering scoop in the nose. Leaning against the wing was a crafty-looking character whom the caption identified as Benny Howard. The airplane was the DGA-3.

Built in 1929, the DGA-3 was nicknamed 'Pete' and flew on a 326 cubic-inch Wright Gipsy inline four-cylinder 90 hp engine. This setup allowed Pete to fly at roughly 160 mph, which wasn't that fast even for its day, particularly when one considers the competition that Benny faced when he raced for the 1930 Thompson Trophy.

Benny found himself up against two Travel Air Mystery Ships, the Laird Super Solution, and Capt Arthur Page’s ill-fated Page Racer - all of which had top speeds well above 200 mph. But Benny was tenacious and hung in while a number of other entrants dropped out because of mechanical failures and Capt Page's fatal crash. When it was over, Benny captured third place and a purse of $2,000.

While the development of the Pete allowed Benny to cut his teeth as a racing airplane builder, this aircraft significantly advanced his career in other ways. The Pete's winnings funded the development of more powerful racers - namely a pair of DGA-4s nicknamed Mike and Ike. Eventually, the Pete was sold and its proceeds went toward the development of the Mr. Mulligan.

Miraculously, the Ike, the Mike, and the Pete are all still around. The Pete has been flown in recent years and is currently housed at the Crawford Auto Aviation Museum, part of the Western Reserve Historical Society, in Cleveland.

Design: The goal of this design was to repurpose an AR6400 'brick' from a worn-out UMX T-28. The brick is a compact little system that integrates a Spektrum receiver, brushed 1S ESC, and two servos into a tiny, 3.9-gram package.

The result is a 20-inch Free Flight-style (FF) airframe with full-house controls that weighs 70 grams. The tiny Pete flies well on the brushed 1S motor, but today there are more powerful bricks with 2S brushless ESCs in similar-size packages. My Pete will be ready for this upgrade as soon I can distract my son's attention while he's flying his UMX Beast.

The plans for the Pete have been cleaned up and are offered through Model Aviation as a free download. It’s a simple little project that can be cut by hand. Alternatively, a nice laser-cut kit is available from Manzano Laser Works.

Building Pete: Begin the project by laminating the outlines for the tail group and the wingtips. This process will sound more difficult than it is. If you try it, you will find that the resulting outlines are stronger and lighter than those built-up from balsa sections.

The first step is to cut 1/32 x 3/32 strips from the edges of the kit wood. Soak the strips overnight in water mixed with a splash of ammonia.

While the strips soften, make forms by tracing the inner edges of the outlines from the plans onto sheets of paper. Glue the tracings to foam poster board. Cut along the lines and pop the forms free. Cover the cut edges with clear packing tape so that glue won’t stick to them.

After pinning the forms to the building board, pull one softened balsa strip tightly around each form, pinning it into place as you go. Apply carpenter’s glue to a second strip. Stretch this strip around the first while moving the pins to hold the pair tightly against the form.

After it has completely cured, remove the outlines from their forms and pin them down to the plans. Glue the kit parts that form the inner structure in, followed by the 1/32 x 3/32 balsa bracing cut from the kit wood.

Split the control surfaces by cutting through the outlines where shown on the plans. Bevel the leading edges (LEs) of the elevators and the rudder to allow ample deflection. Narrow CA hinges work great on these tiny models..."

Shortkits available from Manzano Laser see


Did we get something wrong with these details about this plan (especially the datafile)? That happens sometimes. You can help us fix it.
Add a correction

Howard DGA-3 Pete (oz11625) by Paul Kohlmann 2016 - model pic


  • Howard_DGA-3 | help
    see Wikipedia | search Outerzone
    Test link:
    search RCLibrary 3views (opens in new window)

    ScaleType: This (oz11625) is a scale plan. Where possible we link scale plans to Wikipedia, using a text string called ScaleType.

    If we got this right, you now have a couple of direct links (above) to 1. see the Wikipedia page, and 2. search Oz for more plans of this type. If we didn't, then see below.

    ScaleType is formed from the last part of the Wikipedia page address, which here is
    Wikipedia page addresses may well change over time.
    For more obscure types, there currently will be no Wiki page found. We tag these cases as ScaleType = NotFound. These will change over time.
    Corrections? Use the correction form to tell us the new/better ScaleType link we should be using. Thanks.

Howard DGA-3 Pete (oz11625) by Paul Kohlmann 2016 - pic 003.jpg
Howard DGA-3 Pete (oz11625) by Paul Kohlmann 2016 - pic 004.jpg
Howard DGA-3 Pete (oz11625) by Paul Kohlmann 2016 - pic 005.jpg

Do you have a photo you'd like to submit for this page? Then email

User comments

Parts page is missing!
Vic Arcudi - 16/10/2019
Doh. Have added the missing 2nd page, showing parts, to the planfile now.
SteveWMD - 16/10/2019
Thanks much, great stuff!
Vic Arcudi - 17/10/2019
Add a comment



Download File(s):


* Credit field

The Credit field in the Outerzone database is designed to recognise and credit the hard work done in scanning and digitally cleaning these vintage and old timer model aircraft plans to get them into a usable format. Currently, it is also used to credit people simply for uploading the plan to a forum on the internet. Which is not quite the same thing. This will change soon. Probably.


This model plan (like all plans on Outerzone) is supposedly scaled correctly and supposedly will print out nicely at the right size. But that doesn't always happen. If you are about to start building a model plane using this free plan, you are strongly advised to check the scaling very, very carefully before cutting any balsa wood.


Terms of Use

© Outerzone, 2011-2024.

All content is free to download for personal use.

For non-personal use and/or publication: plans, photos, excerpts, links etc may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Outerzone with appropriate and specific direction to the original content i.e. a direct hyperlink back to the Outerzone source page.

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site's owner is strictly prohibited. If we discover that content is being stolen, we will consider filing a formal DMCA notice.