Howard Hughes’ “Spruce Goose”, 1947

“The Hughes H-4 Hercules (“Spruce Goose”) made its only flight on November 2, 1947. Built from wood because of wartime restrictions, it was nicknamed the “Spruce Goose” by critics, despite being made almost entirely of birch. It is the largest flying boat ever built, and has the largest wingspan of any aircraft in history.

“During a Senate hearing on August 6, 1947, Hughes said: “I put the sweat of my life into this thing. I have my reputation all rolled up in it and I have stated several times that if it’s a failure I’ll probably leave this country and never come back. And I mean it”“