AirVenture 2023: Mister Mulligan


Doug Rozendaal leads what most would call a charmed life. He gets to fly high-performance World War II fighters and bombers in front of admiring crowds. He also gets to fly exotic vintage civilian aircraft. Their owners place implicit trust in him with their often irreplaceable and virtually priceless antiques.

Doug also owns some enviable aircraft of his own, including a Harmon Rocket, a Beech Baron twin, a Meyers OTW (“Out To Win”) golden-age biplane and an L-2 miliary liaison Taylorcraft from the WWII era.

His latest personal acquisition is a highly accurate replica of the one-off racing version of the Howard DGA 6 (“Damn Good Airplane”) known as “Mister Mulligan.” In the video, he tells the history of the airplane and recounts the lives of many of the people involved in how he came to own it. Rozendaal also shares his “secret” for maneuvering his backside into the pilot seats of so many great airplanes. Spoiler alert: The answer is about what you might expect.


  1. Hey thanks for that interview AvWeb! Cool guy with a cool story.
    Does Doug intend to write a book about his life? I’d sure would like to hear more.

  2. Great video. Show up and work hard is HOW you get ahead. I remember the plastic model from long ago, which I vaguely remember was a Monogram kit, of Mr. Mulligan which I thought was an interesting name when I was a kid. In 1978 I jumped the DGA-15 which had once been a Navy patrol plane at the DZ in Elsinore, California. This aircraft, N22418, was the ship used in the 1969 film “The Gypsy Moths” starring Burt Lancaster. Unfortunately, it was destroyed in a crash many years after I jumped it.

  3. The dumb farm kid speaks much wisdom.
    A great story which I suspect is just the forward to a great autobiography.

  4. “If you want it bad enough and work hard enough you can accomplish anything” that is the greatest take away from this interview.

  5. In addition to John 3’s comment, I would add that another great takeaway from the interview is “Fly the airplane like you are paying the bills yourself.”

  6. Two thumbs up!

    Doug relates a great story about his time flying freight in a Beech 18 with total electrical failure… in night IMC. It was featured in AOPA’s “There I Was” podcast #32. Well worth the effort to find and listen to it. His storytelling is equally compelling for both pilot and non-pilot alike.

  7. Great story with accompanying interview video. The 1958 Model Kit rendition of Mr. Mulligan was a HAWK Model Company Kit in 1/48 scale plastic. The 1960 Model Kit rendition of Mr. Mulligan was in Balsa wood “laminate” / pre-colored, no tissue, die cut wood pieces, and made by MONOGRAM MODELS their then ” Bild ‘n Fly ” series of flying kits in 1/21 scale.
    I bought and built them both as a kid in the 1950’s / 1960 era. Around 1976, after obtaining my certificates, I had the good fortune of riding right seat in a DGA-15P with a P&W R-985 that was then owned by a friend of my then A&P I/A. Great aircraft!

  8. Doug Rozendaal here, I miss spoke in the video, the original Mister Mulligan crashed on the way to the 1936 races. Not 1935 as I said in the piece. It won in 1935.

  9. Hello DougR, I’m truly grateful to be among those hearing your story. My interest in Mr mulligan started over 40 years ago when I witnessed a large radio controlled model of this amazing aircraft. Since then I’ve taken on the challenge of learning to build and fly these models. I might add that they simply can’t compare to the real deal, but I enjoy trying to make my models look and act just like the real counterpart. As of the date of this comment, I have the plans to a 1/4 scale model of the Howard DGA-6 Mr. Mulligan. It’s been difficult finding good references for photos. I’m wanting to recreate the DGA-6 and have a beautiful replica of one, (not even close to what you present) but something that tells the story. I’m also entertaining the idea of writing a book that uses the DGA-6 as it’s example. I would be so honored and grateful if you could point me to how I might aquire good detailed photos of your DGA-6 Mr mulligan. I’m grateful for your attention to this inquiry. Great to hear your story, and privileged to have met you, even if it was only by video. All my best, Robert, Made2fly.