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Thursday, September 17, 2015

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The WWII Spruce Goose – Largest Flying Boat Ever Built (17 Pics)

The Hughes H-4 Hercules (also known as the “Spruce Goose“; registration NX37602) is a prototype heavy strategic airlift military transport aircraft designed and built by the Hughes Aircraft Company. Intended as a transatlantic flight transport for use during World War II, it was not completed in time to be used in the war. The aircraft made only one brief flight on November 2, 1947, and the project never advanced beyond the single example produced. Built from wood because of wartime restrictions on the use of aluminium and concerns about weight, it was nicknamed by critics the “Spruce Goose”, although it was made almost entirely of birch. The Hercules is the largest flying boat ever built and has the largest wingspan of any aircraft in history. It is on display, and remains in good condition at the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum in McMinnville, Oregon, United States.

Culver City, California: c. 1946 The 220 foot long hull of Howard Hughes’ flying boat under construction in its hangar. It is near completion with its final coat of aluminum lacquer. The cut away section is where the wings will fit together.
The Spruce Goose, Howard Hughes’ experimental wooden airplane, floats in Long Beach Harbor, Nov. 2, 1947.


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