"I want to be remembered for only one thing," Howard Robard Hughes once said, "and that's my contribution to aviation." (LIFE) Howard Hughes was known as a mysterious, inventive, and reclusive character. Hughes was an American entrepreneur who became one of the most wealthiest people during the 1930's and 1940's. Howard Hughes was one of the most famous aviators of all time with the production of his world wide known plane called the "Spruce Goose". (Howard Robard Hughes)
Howard Hughes was born in Humble, Texas on December 24, 1905. Hughes was very creative and ingenious, but an individualistic and private person. As a kid, he spent his time drawing automobiles, trains, planes, and boats. ...view middle of the document...
He designed a speed plane called the H-1, a spy plane named the XF-11, and years later the Lockheed Constellation. In 1939, he crushed Charles Lindbergh's world record by flying around the world in three days, nineteen hours, and seventeen minutes. In 1942, Hughes designed the largest wooden aircraft to fly on earth called Hercules H-4, or commonly known as the "Spruce Goose".
The aim was to build an aircraft that could carry troops and tanks over the the Atlantic ocean where German boats were inflicting havoc on the allied convoys. The US Department of Defense contracted Howard Hughes to design and build the "Spruce Goose" during WWII. Hughes was a man who fought big but paid attention to the smallest detail. The contract was signed in November of 1942, but it wasn't until 1944 when the production of the craft went underway.
Hughes's constant changes in mind and interference slowed down work on the aircraft. The government had then cancelled the project. However, a vigorous campaign by Hughes won a concession that the airplane could be completed. Two years later, the sections of the flying boat were ready to be moved at a site in Long Beach, California.
The "Spruce Goose" "was completed in 1947 at a cost of $25 million (roughly $166 million in 1996 dollars)." Considered one of the largest airplanes to be built, the "Spruce Goose" was so remarkable because it was completely made out of wood. The aircraft is nicknamed the "Spruce Goose" because a portion of it was made with spruce wood. In fact, it was an insult to Hughes because it was built mostly with
laminated birch. The only...