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Howard Hughes and the Spruce Goose

The Spruce Goose was the largest plane ever to fly.


Duramold aircraft

Clark Duramold F-46 Fairchild - Duramold aircraft was built with a molded wooden fuselage.

The Spruce Goose was originally conceived by Henry J. Kaiser, a steel maker and builder of Liberty ships. The aircraft was designed, constructed, and engineered by Howard Hughes and his staff. The Spruce Goose's exterior was created with material using the duramold process of laminating plywood and it was the largest plane ever to fly. In 1947, Millionaire Howard Hughes became the first person to pilot the Spruce Goose.

Spruce Goose

The ribs and frame of the Spruce Goose were made out of birch wood, the plane was covered with duramold which involved laminating and molding thin sheets of veneer together. The Spruce Goose had almost no nails or screws. The duramold process used layers of 1/32 inch wood veneer, laid in alternating grain direction, bonded with glue and steam-shaped. Duramold made Spruce Goose was both strong and light-weight for its size.

Howard Hughes Becomes The First Person To Fly The Spruce Goose

In 1905, Howard Hughes was born in Houston, Texas. Hughes inherited the patent rights to an oil tool drill made by the Hughes Tool Company. A millionaire, Howard Hughes both inherited and made his own money. An adventurous soul, he formed the Hughes Aircraft Corporation and loved to pilot planes and break aviation records. After flying across America, Howard Hughes turned to movie making and formed his own motion picture studio.
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