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Artifact Friday: DGA 18K

Updated: Dec 1, 2023

The Civilian Pilot Training Program (CPTP) started in the 1930s training college students to fly. This program grew larger and faster than anticipated and thus, they did not have enough aircraft for it.

Howard came up with a design called the DGA-18. This aircraft was drawn, built, and test-flown in three weeks.

It entered CPTP shortly after and was used as a “secondary” trainer.

So young pilots would start in the Piper Cub and move up to the Howard giving them extra preparation before heading to tougher aircraft.

There were three different variants of this Howard-the DGA-18, the DGA-18K, and finally the DGA-18W. The letters at the end of the number denote the beginning letter of the type of engine used by the Howard. For example, the DGA-18K used a Kinner

R-5 radial engine. The DGA-18W had a Warner Super Scarab radial engine.

AAMM’s Howard DGA-18 is in fact a DGA-18K, the same type used at this airfield during CPTP days.

It trained many Northwest Arkansas pilots; however, it gained a reputation for having a poor design. Additionally, it was found to be difficult to fly, making it one of the least favorite planes on the airfield.

There were only sixty Howards built and now only one left in the world.

The Howard DGA-18 housed in our hangar just happens to be that particular one.

So, if you want to see a rare sight this weekend, please make sure to swing by the museum!

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