On November 2, 1947, Howard Hughes pilots the Hughes Flying Boat (Spruce Goose), the largest aircraft ever built, on its first and only flight. Development of the Spruce Goose cost a phenomenal $23 million and took so long that the war had ended by the time of its completion in 1946. The aircraft had many detractors, and Congress demanded that Hughes prove the plane airworthy. Despite its successful maiden flight, the Spruce Goose never went into production, primarily because critics alleged that its wooden framework was insufficient to support its weight during long flights. From 1947 until his death in 1976, Hughes kept the Spruce Goose prototype ready for flight in an enormous, climate-controlled hangar at a cost of $1 million per year. Today, the Spruce Goose is housed at the Evergreen Aviation Museum in McMinnville, Oregon. Find Howard Hughes on Hoopla.
Natalie Kinsey-Warnock, author of books for young readers that celebrate the joy of life on a country farm in Vermont, was born on November 2, 1956. Find Natalie at the library.