Howard Hughes and American Ambition

Stage and Screen, Business, Aviation, Personalities, pic: 1947, Millionaire American Howard Hughes pictured with an engineer on the vast wooden sea-plane "Spruce Goose" which he designed, Howard Hughes, (1905-1976) millionaire Businessman, Aviator and film Director/Producer was an eccentric who became a total recluse (Photo by Paul Popper/Popperfoto/Getty Images)

The man standing in the image is Howard Hughes. He is aboard his “Spruce Goose”, or the Hughes H-4 Hercules. The Hercules was created to move troops and materials across the atlantic due to the large amount of ships that were begin sunk by the Germans. With materials scarce Hughes elected to make the plane out of birch, with the use of a small amount of spruce. Henry Kaiser, the creator of the concept of the H-4, left the production of the Hercules early, leaving Hughes to create the plane. Nevertheless, Hughes finished the plane in 1946, after WWII. Due to this, the plane was of no use to military and the contract was cancelled. Hughes was later tried for his failure to meet military contract during the war. He would emerge victorious against unjust Senator Brewster who was trying to meet the desires of Pan Am owner Juan Trippe. The trial was dropped when it was discovered that Trippe persuaded Brewster to try Hughes, his competitor in the aviation world.

Hughes grew up in Texas, and after his father’s death inherited Hughes Tool Company. Hughes Tool Co. was vastly successful for their oil drilling bit which lead to massive revenue. Hughes later used the company to venture into the movie business, making many successful motion pictures such as Hell’s Angels, and Scarface. With an affluent interest in aviation Hughes became the leading shareholder of TWA, an american airline. Hughes guided the company to prosperity and introduced revolutionary airplane designs to the company.

Howard Hughes is a story of American ambition. His endless desire for success, his self-belief, and his bold means led him to evolve into the richest man in America for a number of years. He was not complacent upon his inheritance of Hughes Tool Company, he later strove for excellence in his own interests. Which led him to forge a successful life of his own through aviation and creating motion pictures; the key facet of the American dream is manifested in him: the desire for success. He took a colossal risk in creating the unprecedented Hercules, and yet he believed in himself: “I have stated several times that if it’s a failure, I’ll probably leave this country”. Through this belief he pushed into unparalleled engineering frontiers and success in the H-4 and other progressive planes. Like “George”, he attested to the unjust opposition in Senator Brewster. Triumphantly, he came out of the trials favorably, overcoming the corrupt. Hughes evokes crucial principals of American history and created contemporary ideas for American citizens.

Sadly, Hughes later led a reclusive lifestyle due the exacerbating demands of his increasingly harmful OCD. He died in 1976 and had the Spruce Goose maintained up until the end of his life.

Ps. One of my favorite movies “The Aviator” was based on him. It’s an excellent movie and I recommend it, although it’s quite long.

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