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ERIC Number: EJ1000968
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Dec
Pages: 2
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 2
ISSN: ISSN-1062-9351
Howard Hughes and His Colorful Aircraft Career
Karwatka, Dennis
Tech Directions, v72 n5 p10-11 Dec 2012
The HK-1 "Hercules" airplane made its maiden flight over 60 years ago, and it still holds the record as the airplane with the largest wingspan that ever flew. Powered by eight massive 28-cylinder engines, it was piloted by Howard Hughes during its one brief flight in California. A large portion of the airplane was made of wood, which gave rise to its nickname, the "Spruce Goose." Hughes financed the project and was the genius behind its development. Hughes was an only child born in Houston, TX, in 1905. His father, Howard Hughes Sr., had patented a unique bit used to drill oil wells. It was soon the standard of the industry and the family established the Hughes Tool Company (HTC) in 1908 for its manufacture. Hughes developed a passion for flying and obtained his pilot's license in 1928. HTC remained profitable and Hughes went on to found the Hughes Aircraft Co. (HAC) in 1932. He wanted to develop high-speed racing airplanes. Hughes set several speed records with his airplanes and twice received the Harmon International Trophy for the world's most outstanding aviator. He retired from racing in 1938 to concentrate on airplane construction. HAC went on to become a major American aerospace contractor. Hughes's legacy is closely associated with his "Hercules" flying boat. He died in 1976 while enroute to Houston for medical treatment. Leonardo DiCaprio depicted Hughes in the 2005 motion picture "The Aviator."
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California