About | Volunteer | Support
History Project Facebook
History Project Youtube
History Project on Instagram
sponsors
sponsors

On This Day… The Spruce Goose

Written by: George Chittenden : 10 Jun 2019

It was on this day, 2nd Nov, back in 1952 when the largest aircraft ever built made its first and only flight… the H-4 Hercules also known as the Spruce Goose! The gigantic plane was piloted and designed by Howard Hughes, the successful Hollywood movie producer who founded the Hughes Aircraft Company in 1932. Hughes loved aviation and testing cutting-edge aircraft of his own design. He was an accomplished pilot. In 1937 he broke the transcontinental flight-time record and in 1938, he flew around the world in a record 3 days, 19 hours, and 14 minutes.

The Spruce Goose

The Spruce Goose

In 1941, the U.S. government commissioned the Hughes Aircraft Company to build a large flying boat capable of carrying men and materials over long distances. Due to wartime restrictions on steel, Hughes decided to build his aircraft out of wood laminated with plastic and covered with fabric. The plane was constructed mainly of birch; however, the use of spruce earned the aircraft the nickname ‘The Spruce Goose’. Development of the Spruce Goose cost a staggering $23 million and took so long that the war had ended by the time of its completion in 1946.

Howard Hughes

Howard Hughes

Due to its enormous size many doubted the plane could even take off, so on November 2, 1947, Hughes took the H-4 prototype out into Long Beach Harbour, CA for an unannounced flight test. Thousands of onlookers had come to watch the aircraft taxi on the water and were surprised when Hughes lifted his wooden monster 70 feet above the water and flew for a mile before landing! Sadly, the Spruce Goose never went into production, largely due to doubts about the strength of its wooden frame during long flights. Nevertheless, Howard Hughes, who became increasingly eccentric and withdrawn after 1950, refused to neglect what he saw as his greatest achievement in the aviation field. From 1947 until his death in 1976, he kept the Spruce Goose ready for flight in a huge, climate-controlled hangar at a cost of $1 million per year. Today, the Spruce Goose is housed at the Evergreen Aviation Museum in McMinnville, Oregon.

Search

By Era

To 5000 BCE 5000 - 2000 BCE 2000 BCE - 0 0 - 400 CE 400 - 800 CE 800 - 1100 CE 1100 - 1500 CE 1500 - 1700 CE 18th Century 19th Century 1900's 1910's 1920's 1930's 1940's 1950's 1960's 1970's 1980's 1990's 2000's 2010's

By Topic

Royal British Roman North American Egyptian Nautical European Social WW1 Military Viking Asian African Australian South American Political Celebrity WW2 Religion

We promote history by...

offering free articles and videos, providing free history experiences for children in schools and on weekends. Next year we will be visiting hospitals and providing unforgettable experiences to children who really need it and give them a chance to forget their condition, their treatment and their reality. Please join others who support our free projects by giving a small donation. We can only continue our great work with your help.

appealimage

Support The History Project


Coming to Deal, Receive a Warm welcome and some of the best organic coffee in town, also great Gluten free and Vegan options hereHeritage WindHave a spare room or property you would like to make some money from? Contact Ally now  Waterfront Hotel - A Beautiful hotel and restaurant with views overlooking Deal`s historic `Downs Anchorage` and award  - winning Pier. 9 Beach Street, Deal, Kent, CT14 6HYThe History ProjectLocal Lads that cover the Kent area, boasting a 9.9/ 10 on checkatrade.com these lads really give their very best for a very very fair price. ( image attached) phone number cwould be good under construction - 07791101946Cleaning and Support Services, Kents premier eco-friendly, green office cleaning and Facilities Management companyFabulous out there clothing for people who like a lively and warm vibe, Funky Granny and Groovy Grandpa sections are well worth a browseTCleaning and Support Services, Kents premier eco-friendly, green office cleaning and Facilities Management companySpecialist brokers whoThis wonderful family run company offers bespoke and tailored environmentally friendly Housekeeping packagesThe History ProjectWe are a family owned and operated Removal and International Overseas Shipping company based in DealCleaning and Support Services, Kents premier eco-friendly, green office cleaning and Facilities Management companySpecialist brokers whoACAS The Decorating Company - 07759075930Have a spare room or property you would like to make some money from? Contact Ally now  Top quality plumbing, and heating services at a very competitive price click here to find out more.Sea Cafe Coffee Shop Walmer Green, StrandTransportation, storage and removal serviceComing to Deal, Receive a Warm welcome and some of the best organic coffee in town, also great Gluten free and Vegan options hereClock in the old fashioned way and roam DealLocal Lads that cover the Kent area, boasting a 9.9/ 10 on checkatrade.com these lads really give their very best for a very very fair price. ( image attached) phone number could be good under construction - 07791101946Got some waste you have been meaning to get rid of? Give Benn a call, heSupport the History Project - Your face hereto Duke Street in Deal for some Fine Wines, Real Ales and delicious Stone Baked PizzaNeed to lose weight or just get a bit fitter but find gyms tedious and boring? Well go and see Ex Army PT Jay Ingram and he will build you up into the powerhouse you were meant to be on his excellent 705355626682640632046718154638211245521061960655913