No. 256. Howard Super Ventura (CF-KEH c/n 237-5280) Pacific Petroleum
Photographed at Eedmonton, Alberta, Canada, 1959-60, by Ron Dupas

Howard Super Ventura

02/28/2010. Remarks by Johan Visschedijk: "Howard Aero, Inc. of San Antonio, Texas, USA was formed in 1947 as an aircraft service organization specializing in the business aviation market, the company was headed by founder Dee U. Howard and Ed J. Swearingen. The Manufacturing Division of Howard Aero was formed in 1955 and its first major product was the Super Ventura, a 8 to 14-passenger high-speed long-range transport designed and built specifically for business use, built around basic components of the Lockheed PV-1 Ventura.

Howard acquired 35 former RCAF and 21 former SAAF aircraft, the airframes were extensively modified, including a 4 ft (1.22 m) stretch of the fuselage. All systems were of entirely new design and manufacture, large windows were fitted in the fuselage sides, the bomb bay was converted to baggage compartments, and a stronger main landing gear (taken from the Lockheed PV-2 Harpoon) was fitted.

Powered by two 2,500 hp Pratt & Whitney R-2800 CB-16 eighteen-cylinder two-row air-cooled radial engines driving four-bladed propellers, or two 2,000 hp R-2800-83AM10s with three-bladed propellers, the performance of the Super Ventura far exceeded that of the original PV-1. The first completed Super Ventura (N5390N) made its first flight on May 5, 1955, and the first production aircraft was delivered in the autumn of the same year to Plymouth Oil Company of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

The pictured aircraft was produced by Vega as a Model 237 PV-1 Venture for the USN under BuNo. 33271. On June 10, 1943 it was transferred to the RCAF as a Ventura G.R.Mk.V, and received the s/n 2191. Struck off charge on June 3, 1953, it was acquired by Howard and subsequently it was converted to a Super Ventura. It came on the Canadian civil registry as CF-KEH, and was operated by the Pacific Petroleum Ltd. of Calgary, Alberta. In the 1970s it came on the US registry as N11P.

Created 1998-2001