1947: Howard Hughes’ “Spruce Goose”

“The Hughes H-4 Hercules (“Spruce Goose”) made its only flight on November 2, 1947. Built from wood because of wartime restrictions, it was nicknamed the “Spruce Goose” by critics, despite being made almost entirely of birch. It is the largest flying boat ever built, and has the largest wingspan of any aircraft in history.

“During a Senate hearing on August 6, 1947, Hughes said: “I put the sweat of my life into this thing. I have my reputation all rolled up in it and I have stated several times that if it’s a failure I’ll probably leave this country and never come back. And I mean it”

- Wikipedia

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Goggles aficionado. Retronaut’s founder and curator.

4 Responses

  1. djeseru

    Thank you for posting this – my grandfather was an engineer on this Hughes project. It gave me chills to see this on the Retronaut site!

  2. Lux

    I saw the spruce goose a few years ago here in Oregon. It is unreal. You really can’t imagine until you are standing next to it. The size of just one of those propellers on the wings made my jaw drop.

  3. chrisy brewer

    Hi,we didin’t know where else to go with this,so we are trying here. We are looking for a framed autographed picture of the spruce goose that was stolen from the original owners. The person that put it on ebay(without notifying the original owners)was:[email protected] might have been done recently or the past 3years or so. It was stolen and we are trying to locate the person who bought it from Felicia([email protected]). Excuse the miss spelling on the fourth line (bottom up on her email). If ebay can track down the person who bought it it is sure appriciative,as the Ritter family wishes for it tobe returned back to them. Please reply to this email address. Thank you so much. Searchlight,nevada.


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