Film: 1171

Aviation | 1980 | Sound | Colour

Synopsis:

Hughes Flying boat.
An account of Howard Hughes grand flying boat built in world War two, also known as the Spruce Goose, the H41 or the H4 Hercules. and first flown in 1946, never entered service, now museum exhibit. The building of the largest airplane in the world.

French language B/W newsreel on Howard Hughes flying boat. A drawing of Hughes' plane. The bizarre looking plane flying through the air, it looks backwards as if it were flying tail first. A huge tube-like construction, or an airplane fuselage with no wings is pulled along the ground on a trailer beside a building, the people scurrying around it on the ground give it scale. One of the airplane wings is also pulled along on a trailer in front of crowd of people on the lawn of a large stately home. Underneath the trailer, the wing travels over us, smooth and shiny. The wing again. The massively huge airplane constructed on the tarmac, still with ladders and workers all over it. The airplane is pulled along the tarmac, men accompany it, looking back over their shoulders at the airplane. The airplane flies over water, it is a floatation plane with four engines on each wing and legs attached to the bottom of each wing to help the airplane balance when it lands on the water.

English language, colour. Terminal Island, California, the United States, with dilapidated cranes on the docks and rusting old machinery strewn across the ground, large hangar, very unremarkable grey siding. The hangar seen from the waters around the island. Overhead diagram of the aircraft, with a wingspan of 320 feet. The 747 jet airliner is contrasted with the outline, it is smaller as is a military plane C5A. The hangar from the water again. Inside the hangar. Men walk around various parts of the aircraft ( dismantled?). The Kaiser Hughes corporation built three prototypes, this is one of them. The massive propeller engines on the wings. Inside the airplane. One top of the plane, light birch wood glued and nailed together. The 8 3000 horsepower R4360 Praton-Whitney engines.
June 11 1946, the parts of the Spruce Goose rolls out of the hangar Hughes Culver City airport plant. A large crowd stands outside of the hangar watching the move of 28 miles to Terminal Island down the highway. Overhead pictures from the goodyear blimp. The Goodyear blimp in the sky. A Pacific Electric electric trolley goes over the road in front of the airplane fuselage just before the wires are cut for the plane to go through. The tail of the plane with scaffolding all over at the terminal Island site.
The XF-10, a photo reconnaissance plane, lies on the ground beside the water. One of the propellers on the airplane is taken apart as there was a malfunction (Hughes was badly injured). The dry dock of the Spruce Goose., ready to be plunged into the water. A security guard walks beside the airplane, dwarfed by it size. Men in a boat at the nose of the airplane stand while holding onto the tip of the nose. Press officers at the head of the plane. Howard Hughes walks into the interior of the aircraft, it is huge, designed to carry 700 fully equipped soldiers. An interview with Howard Hughes outside. The plane is afloat in its dry dock and is towed out. Howard Hughes climbs into the pilots seat. Hughes speaks into a phone. McNamara, the co-pilot gives commentary. The plane moves towards us under its own power through the water. The plane powers through the water, it has lift off. The plane comes back to land on the water again. The hangar of the Spruce Goose in the 1980s. The airplane is donated to the Aero Club of Southern California. A crowd on the shoreline to watch the airplane being moved as the hangar lease has expired. The plane has been floated and is being pulled into the harbour. Good shots of tugboats. The airplane is pulled out by the tug boats. There are people standing on top of her at first. The airplane with a crowd visible on the ground beside it. The Goodyear blimp flies above the boat plane as it is pulled out of the dry dock. Shots from the Goodyear blimp.


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