Thursday, November 01, 2007

Hughes Got the Will

It was 60 years ago this Friday that Howard Hughes got it up for its only time. Of course I'm referring to his massive dream, his infamous creation the Hughes H-4 Hercules, better known as the Spruce Goose. Of course the massive flying boat (it's a boat! it's a plane! it's a goose more than a city block big! imagine the cleanup! it's a multi-million dollar federally funded boondoggle that Halliburton would be proud of!) was made of wood as WWII rationing meant it couldn't be made of important materials like metals or nylon, and while women could paint a stripe on their legs and pretend they were be-hosed, soldiers refused to sit in a drawing of a plane and fly across the ocean (at least they did after a few ill-fated early prototypes of the Cellulose Cygnet). Oddly the Spruce Goose was mostly made of birch, not spruce, but newsmen couldn't come up with a rhyme that seemed belittling enough for birch (Birch Lurch? Birch Perch?), and refused to let the facts stand in the way of their wordsmithing. Till his death Hughes maintained the plane, hoping to fly it if nothing else than to show Ice Station Zebra to a fuselage-filled with 750 captive flyers.



Blogger ahab said...

The Birch Smirch. Or the "B-Smirch," for short.

5:39 PM  
Blogger George said...

That's a good one.

7:32 PM  
Blogger ahab said...

Given 65 years, I can usually come up with something decent.

4:23 AM  

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