History Magazine

Howard Hughes' Spruce Goose, 1947

By Gerard @presurfer
Howard Hughes' Spruce Goose, 1947image credit
The Hughes H-4 Hercules (also known as the 'Spruce Goose') is a prototype heavy transport aircraft designed and built by the Hughes Aircraft company. The aircraft made its only 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 aluminum, its critics nicknamed it the 'Spruce Goose' despite it being made almost entirely of birch rather than spruce. The Hercules is the largest flying boat ever built and has the largest wingspan of any aircraft in history. It survives in good condition at the Evergreen Aviation Museum in McMinnville, Oregon, USA.

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