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Howard Hughes was an innovative American manufacturer, moviemaker , and entrepreneur. He made an early fortune on a drill bit given to him by his father. It was designed to be used for oil- and gas-drillings. His interests then expanded and he produced motion pictures and purchased large estates in Nevada. He developed upon his personal interest in airplanes and produced the Hughes Aircraft Company, which became a major defense contractor in War World Two. Towards the end of Hughes life he became a recluse and cut himself off from the rest of the outside world.
Hughes inherited the Houston-based Hughes Tool Company from his father. The production of a newly designed drill bit, which is still in use today, set him up for life at an early age. In his twenties he was already receiving a steady income of about two million dollars a year.
With his millions, Hughes became a Hollywood producer. He made such films as The Front Page, and Scarface ,which is one of my personal favorites.
Much of Hughes efforts were put forth on experimenting with aircraft. He personally set many speed records and produced many designs for his own planes. With the entry of the United States into World War Two, Hughes Aircraft company was ready to experiment with possible fighter plane designs. However the most famous of his experimental planes was not a fighter plane, it was a cargo plane, later called the "Spruce Goose"
The "Spruce Goose" (for being a water plane and constructed out of Spruce wood) was designed to haul a platoon of men and their equipment. The US government gave funding and Hughes built this gigantic bird. However, building carried on slowly with rumors that Hughes plane would never and could never fly. The government believed Hughes to be stealing the fundings and never intending to finish his plane.
Hughes did indeed finish the plane. It consisted of eight highly powerful prop engines and had a interior capacity about the size of the auto-shop at Fitch. However, Hughes finished the plane too late and the War was over. So the huge plane never saw combat. Hughes called for a press conference to tour the plane and he ferried it out to the river and opened the throttle. The plane rose about ten feet over the water and then landed. Everyone was shocked from not expecting a flight, and not expecting it could fly.
Later in his life, Hughes came upon owning most of the nightclub and hotel industry in Las Vegas, Nevada. However, went some what mad. He lived his final years as a hermit with contact with only a few select people. After his death, no valid "will" was found, and no one could produce an authentic copy.
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Business, Aviation, Aeronautics, Howard Hughes, Hughes Aircraft Company, Hughes H-4 Hercules, Hughes Tool Company, Hughes, Glenn Odekirk
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