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Spruce Goose, HK-1/H-4 Hercules, Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum, McMinnville, Oregon, NX37602, N37603, 9/2/17

In the words of President Donald Trump, the Spruce Goose is "Yuge!"

Made completely of wood (except the cables and instruments, of course), this monstrous aircraft flew once for about a mile.

It was the brainchild of the brilliant but often deranged Howard Hughes. It was developed during WWII as a way to transport soldiers and equipment without the use of strategic materials like steel or aluminum.

Part of it is filled with beach balls--yes, beach balls--for buoyancy while on the water.

The fit and finish is remarkable, considering workers had to bend the wood to shape the aircraft.

This is probably the most interesting aircraft I've seen up close. It is at the wonderful McMinnville, Oregon Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum outside of Portland.


  1. My father worked for Howard Hughes as a crew member who flew and traveled with him. Once Hughes went into hiding he moved that crew of about eight guys from Palm Springs to Southern California and the guys became the guards for the Spruce Goose in Long Beach CA. We all moved to Oregon in 1978. Dad was excited to know the “Goose” was coming to McMinnville. Sadly he died before it was ready for visitors.


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