ABOUT THE HK-1 SPRUCE GOOSE
In the summer of 1942 industrialist Henry Kaiser proposed construction of "an aerial freighter." Granted a government contract to build a fleet of these aircraft, he joined forces with Howard Hughes to construct these massive flying boats. The contract specified that they must be built of nonstrategic materials and wood was chosen. Construction of the prototype was begun in a 10-story building on Hughes property in Culver City, California. The aircraft was built almost entirely of laminated birch, not spruce as the name suggests.
The war ended and the contract expired so Hughes completed the aircraft with his own money and on June 11, 1946 the completed sections — wings and hull — were trucked to Long Beach Harbor for assembly. On November 2, 1947 with Howard Hughes personally at the controls, the $28 milllion Spruce Goose lifted off from the waters of Long Beach Harbor, remaining airborne 70 feet above the water at a speed of 80 mph (130 km/h) for just under a mile (1.6 km).
|Aircraft Type:||Cargo Prototype|
|First Flight:||November 2, 1947|
|Wingspan:||319 feet 11 inches|
|Length:||218 feet 8 inches|
|Height:||79 feet 4 inches|
|Capacity:||18 Crew, 750 troops|
OTHER MODELS IN THE HOWARD HUGHES COLLECTION
• Lockheed L-1049SG Super Constellation TWA
• Hughes H-1 Racer
• Sikorsky S-43 Pan Am