Hughes H1 Racer
In my opinion, Howard Hughes was one of the most interesting people in history.
Howard Hughes was born in Texas in 1905. By the time he was 19 years old, Howard Hughes inherited the majority of his fathers wealth after his father had died. His father, Howard Hughes Sr., had invented and patented an oil drilling bit and had founded Hughes Tool Company in the very early 1900s.
As a child, Howard Hughes was very adept at engineering and had built a radio transmitter and steam engine powered bicycle. At 14 years of age Howard Hughes is believed to have taken his first flying lesson. Later in life Howard Hughes would set many flying records. He would also design many aircraft as well.
Howard Hughes designed, flew and set records in his H-1 Racer Aircraft. It featured retractable landing gear and streamlining. In the H-1 Racer, he set speed records and transcontinental speed records. Howard Hughes also set an around the world speed record in 1938, circumnavigating the globe in 91 hours in a twin engine aircraft with a crew of 4.In 1939 Howard Hughes acquired TWA Airlines and competed for International flights.
In 1946, Howard Hughes was almost killed while test flying the XF-11 Reconnaissance Plane.
Howard Hughes is also well known for designing and building the Hercules; also known as the Spruce Goose. It was the largest flying boat ever made. It was contracted during WW2 to potentially fly men and equipment to Europe to avoid loss that was happing to cargo ships in the Atlantic due to U-Boat attacks.
Howard Hughes also produced and directed several films and at one time controlled RKO Studios. Two of his most notable films were Hells Angels ( an astounding nearly 4 million dollar budget) in 1930. Hughes was also well known for the movie "Outlaw" starring Jane Russell.
In the 1950s Howard Hughes established The Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He combined his other business, namely Hughes Aircraft, and gave that stock to the medical institute to provide a tax exempt status.
In the 1960s Howard Hughes bought many Casinos in Las Vegas. Some of the Casinos HowardHughes acquired were the Sands Hotel, The Landmark, The Castaways, The Silver Slipper and the New Frontier. Howard Hughes usually stayed in the Penthouse of these Hotels. These were the days of the "Rat Pack" with Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Dean Martin and Peter Lawford. It must have been exciting times!
Howard Hughes died in 1976 after becoming a recluse of sorts and spending most of his time staying in resorts and hotels all over the globe.
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