It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
Originally posted by ShatteredSkies
By "capabilities" I mean 400,000 pound cargo load. Now, if that's not a capability, I don't know what is.
If you are interested in other very large aircraft I also suggest you look into the Bristol Brabazon, Saro Princess and Convair XC-99, all dating from around the time of the Spruce Goose and all just as massive and unsuccessful.
massive, yes. unsuccessful? only if you call projects like the x1 or the x15 unsuccessful.
the spruce goose pioneered technologies that are still used today (hydraulics for instance),
it proved that a large heavy lifter aircraft not only could be built (something thought to be impossible at the time), but with the development of better engines and building materials, would completely change the way the US military does business.
Hughes never did test the aircraft completely, that was its only flight, the aircraft was thought by Hughes to be capable of cruising at an average speed of 200 mph, and at an altitude of 6000-7000 feet.
Hughes had a 200 ton Albatross around his neck, with little idea what to do with it....
The H-4 was a remarkable novelty, but it was little more than this and a monument to obsolete technology. It was conceived at a time when such gargantuan vehicles were seen as the wave of the future but by the time it flew the idea was already a thing of the past
Originally posted by ShatteredSkies
You're right Waynos, the H-4 was never tested to its full capacity. But now, if Hughes himself, knew that Engines was an issue to be addressed(Which he did address it by putting 8 of the world's most powerful prop engines at the time on the airplane), then why did for 30 years he keep it in flying condition? Up until the day he died, it was kept in flying conditon, but never flew, that was a pot load of his own money that went to maintaining a dead aircraft. Now, safe to say he was eccentric and did go crazy for a while, but he's an intelligent man, even he would have realized that the engines available just weren't powerful enough, they only put out 24,000 lbs of thrust total(which each F-119 Pratt and Witney Engines puts out, the same ones on the F/A-22 Raptor).
I'm sure he knew it could fly and do what he wanted it to do, as it was said, this is a man that doesn't know how to fail, he spent 14 million of his own dollars trying to build this aircraft. He even said that if he did not complete the aircraft, he would leave the country, that's how set on it he was.
And the H-4 did inspire future large cargo vessels. Now that engine technology has taken a quantum lead(thanks to turbojets) forward, large aircraft such as the C-5, An-225, A380, 747-400, are all able to fly.
Also the aircraft was a marvel because it was one of the first aircraft(of it's size) to be used of composite materials.
Yes it had its critizisms, but it's still a marvelous aircraft nonetheless, I don't think anyone can look at it and not be awestruck by the sheer size of it, and the fact that it actually flew(even though it was for 1 mile and less than 50 feet off the water) with WWII era engines.
Now true, most of the complications did rely on hydraulics and engine power, but it still flew nonetheless, give Hughes credit for that.
The Goose’s entire airframe and surface structures are composed of laminated wood, almost entirely birch, and are almost entirely devoid of nails and screws. The ‘Duramold’ process used to form each component of the plane uses layers of 1/32 inch wood veneer. Layers are arranged with their grain running perpendicular to that of their neighbours, bonded with special glues, and shaped with steam. The end product is a material of amazing lightness and strength.
from merriam webster:
Main Entry: 2composite
1 : something composite : COMPOUND
2 : a composite plant
3 : COMPOSITE FUNCTION
4 : a solid material which is composed of two or more substances having different physical characteristics and in which each substance retains its identity while contributing desirable properties to the whole; especially : a structural material made of plastic within which a fibrous material (as silicon carbide) is embedded
Dismissed as impossible even by many of Hughes’ colleagues, and dubbed ‘the flying lumberyard’ by a disgruntled US senator, the Spruce Goose was decades ahead of its time. Its development shaped modern flight, solving tremendous design and engineering problems, testing new concepts for large-scale hulls and flying control surfaces, and revolutionising jumbo flying bodies and large lift capability. The cargo planes of today bear the Spruce Goose a striking resemblance in some important ways.
Sorry, that is total cobblers, hydraulics were in common use a VERY long time before the Spruce Goose was built, also it was a huge, hollow WOODEN structure, how many modern large transports follow this pattern?
She had cost Howard Hughes $117,000 for each second she was in the air and she had cost the American taxpayers $300,000for each of those seconds
yeah, thats wood, but its still composite