On this day November 2, 1947

Designer Howard Hughes performs the maiden (and only) flight of the Spruce Goose; the largest fixed-wing aircraft ever built.

The Hughes H-4 Hercules (registration NX37602) was a prototype heavy transport aircraft designed and built by the Hughes Aircraft company. The aircraft made its first and only flight on November 2, 1947.

Built from wood due to wartime raw material restrictions on the use of aluminum, it was nicknamed the “Spruce Goose” by its critics. The Hercules is the largest flying boat ever built, and has the largest wingspan and height of any aircraft in history. It survives in good condition at the Evergreen Aviation Museum in McMinnville, Oregon.

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