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The "Spruce Goose"

the largest airplane ever built

the Flying Boat on November 1, 1947Spruce Goose during its only flightOfficially known as the Hughes Flying Boat, the popular name of "Spruce Goose" was not only despised by the aircraft's builder, Howard Hughes, but was also a misnomer. Most of the huge plane is actually made of birch, with only small amounts of poplar, balsa, and spruce.

Conceived as a personnel and materiel carrier, the Hughes Flying Boat was designed to fly transatlantic to avoid World War II German submarines, but the war ended before the plane was finished. It flew only one time, on November 2, 1947, in Long Beach Harbor, California, for a total distance of about 3,000 feet.

Wingspan 319 feet 11 inches
Length 218 feet 8 inches
Height 79 feet 4 inches
Weight 300,000 pounds
Capacity Crew of 18 plus 750 troops

The "Spruce Goose" now resides in a specially-built hangar at the Evergreen Aviation Museum, in McMinnville, Oregon.


Howard Hughes
World War II

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  The Robinson Library > Technology > Aeronautics > Aircraft and Aircraft Companies, A-Z

This page was last updated on June 30, 2016.

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