Design Evolution on Display

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In the antique/classics parking at AirVenture this year we found a replica of Benny Howard’s Mr. Mulligan parked between a pair of Howard DGA-15s. Howard developed the DGA from the Mr Mulligan. Mulligan was a pure racer that won both the Bendix and Thompson trophies. The DGA was intended to be a fast cross-country cruiser for a larger customer group.Looking at the two planes side-by side you can see the changes Howard made to evolve the racer into an airplane that could operate off of more airports and be flown by most pilots. The DGA has a larger wing, to reduce takeoff and landing speed, and a much larger vertical tail to improve directional stability and rudder control power. These changes forfeited a little top speed in favor of improved operability and better flying qualities.

Photos: Kathryn Wainfan.

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Barnaby Wainfan is a principal aerodynamics engineer for Northrop Grumman’s Advanced Design organization. A private pilot with single engine and glider ratings, Barnaby has been involved in the design of unconventional airplanes including canards, joined wings, flying wings and some too strange to fall into any known category.

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