Originally constructed for the US Navy, the Howard 500-109 began in 1943 as a Lockheed PV-1. After WWII, it saw service in the South African Air Force and then was sold to D.U. Howard in San Antonio Texas for $750. Howard re-manufactured the PV-1, converting it from a military transport into an executive aircraft, becoming the Howard 500. After being sold again in 1997, at the time of the Birds Eye fly-over, it was being restored at Anoka County-Blaine Airport to be airworthy by late 2005.
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By: Pdunn
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Anonymous picture
@ 2010-12-30 13:25:04
The Howard 500 is not a conversion of anything, all info on the net is wrong and misleading. The Howard 500 is a brand new airplane with a new type certificate awarded in 1963. 22 were sold and as of 1976 18 remained on the FAA registry.
Pdunn picture
@ 2010-12-30 15:36:05
Anonymous, your comment seems to address Howard 500s in general; but not the lineage of the specific airframe pictured here. As you will note, the description follows the airframe throughout its entire history and its various owners from its initial construction to its eventual conversion. If you have documentation you would like to share that refutes this particular aircraft's well-documented history, we'd love to see it.
Pdunn picture
@ 2010-12-30 15:55:12
Here is the complete history of the Howard N173U as chronicled by the Warbird Registry:
5650 • PV-1 Bu34760 (to RAF as FP608)
GR Mk.V (to SAAF as 6433): del. 27.9.43: SOC TT 554 hr 60
N127N Howard Aero Inc, San Antonio TX .59/61
Howard (stripped airframe shipped ex S.Africa 12.59,
Super Ventura conv. to Howard Super Ventura 8.61 at
San Antonio TX, line no. #45)
Howard 500 N90N Natural Gas Pipeline Co, Chicago IL .61/67
(c/n 500-109) (conv. to Howard 500 completed 4.12.63)
N137U United Industrial Corp, New York NY 6.12.67/68
Industrial Flights Inc, New York NY 11.6.68/72
Nello L. Teer Co, Durham NC 31.1.72/80
Raleigh-Durham Aviation, Durham NC .80/81
seized at Rostraven PA 3.1.80
Soundair Corp, Toronto ONT: stored 27.8.80/90
K & G Classics Inc/ Red Bird Aero, Dallas TX 12.11.90
Graves Aircraft Inc, El Reno OK 22.11.90
Barbary Coast Airways, Watsonville CA 92/93
Edward A. Mueller, Belmont CA 6.93/95
(open storage Ft Lauderdale-Exec FL 95/97)
Bruce R. Stevenson/ North Pacific Inc,
Portland OR 9.1.97/98
(del. to Portland .97 ex FLL, stored pending rest.)
Air Born Inc, Wayzata MN 11.4.00/02
(del. to Anoka County MN .00, under rest. 00)
TP Universal Exports International, Eagan MN 22.4.02

Anonymous picture
@ 2011-02-10 10:41:02
By definition (of Howard Aero and its subs) a 500 is a newly manufactured pressurized airframe, not a conversion like the 250 and 350. With the lineage listed, this is a converted PV airframe, and hence not a 500. Do some research and satisfy yourself. An old Howard employee.
Parabellum picture
@ 2011-02-10 14:22:30
According to the FAA (and Howard's own serial number) it's a Howard 500:

Serial Number 500-109
Manufacturer Name DEE HOWARD COMPANY
Model 500

Anonymous picture
@ 2014-02-25 11:30:48
If it's a PV-1, it's a 350,,,,the 500 is NOT a conversion...Howard Aero built the wings and fuselage with jigs acquired from Lockheed, then altered them for new design. 17 500's built.....about 60 PV-1's converted to Howard 350's and one PV-1 converted to a 400,,,this was the only PV-1 with cabin pressurization (test bed) which led to the determination that they would have to build their own airframes in to make the 500 meet performance and safety specs. The wings were built wet and reshaped for the higher speed and altitude. the airplane was built to cruise @ 41,000 ft , with a cabin well below the ratio of most airliners which is roughly 8500 ft. @ 39,000 ft. This is NOT a Ventura.
Anonymous picture
@ 2014-12-04 15:51:20
This info is not correct. A 500 is not a conversion of anything, but a newly manufactured aircraft. If it is a converted PV-1, it is probably a 350.
Anonymous picture
@ 2014-12-05 08:17:34
This particular air frame was most definitely converted (as detailed below):

(stripped airframe shipped ex S.Africa 12.59,
Super Ventura converted to Howard Super Ventura 8.61 at
San Antonio TX, line no. #45)
Howard 500 N90N Natural Gas Pipeline Co, Chicago IL .61/67
(c/n 500-109) (conv. to Howard 500 completed 4.12.63)