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[HOWARD HUGHES] An Airman, His Aircraft, and His Great Flights

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This book echoes the approach of Paladr Press, which published a similar book on Charles Lindbergh who, even in this 70th anniversary year, has [...]


Book cover finish Hardcover ( square back binding )
Condition (NOS) Like New
Number of pages 90
Published date 2006
Languages English
Size 28 x 22 x 1 cm
Author Thomas Wildenberg and R.E.G. Davies
Editor Palawdr Press



Several books and countless magazine articles have been written, and a notable film made about the life of Howard Hughes, billionaire playboy, film-makers, aircraft pilots, airline owner, and latter-day eccentric and ultimately unhealthy recluse. Somehow or other, mainly because he was alternately a figure of national acclaim and then a secretive manipulator of his immense wealth, the record of his achievements in aviation, which was always his fondest love, has been inundated by a flood of commentaries on his extramarital affairs, and his disease-ridden decline in his latter years.


At least, The Aviator movie film approached the subject of a more balanced manner, portraying his almost miracle-like recovery from a near-fatal crash and his acute intellect as he dealt with his accusers in the courtroom. But even in this excellent film, much of his aeronautical prowess as a pilot and aeronautical innovator were not given enough emphasis.

As for the public, even many among the aviation-minded fraternity, can point only to ‘The Spruce Goose,’ as the hack journalists call the HK-1, the great flying boat that still holds the record for the longest aeroplane wing ever built.


This book echoes the Paladwr Press approach when it published a similar book about Charles Lindbergh, who, even in the 70th anniversary year, was covered in the media almost exclusively on his wholly creditable nonstop flight across the Atlantic in 1927. The subtitle of that book was An Airman, His Aircraft, and His Great Flights, and the contents embraced all the work he did as a pathfinder for Pan American Airways in surveying the Caribbean, the Pacific and the Atlantic Oceans. Similarly, this book covers the entire spectrum of Howard Hughes’s aviation achievements, but keeps his film work, his women, and his latter-day eccentricities in their proper perspective.


This is an attempt to tell the whole story, in a narrative, with photographs, and with drawings of all his aircraft, without recourse to exaggerated emphasis. This includes his early life and his inheritance of great wealth; his Hell’s Angels film – still a great movie, even after 80 years of cinematograph technology advancement; his record-breaking flights, with the aircraft that he built himself; and his 1938 round-the-world epic, for which he was rewarded with a ticker-tape parade down Broadway.


Emphasis has been placed on his role in developing the Lockheed Constellation, and asserting that this was his greatest achievement and the most significant contribution to the progress of the world’s passenger air transport. Only Hughes could have done alone what he did. He owned the TWA airline which placed the necessary launch order; he had the wealth and the technical knowledge to influence, even control, its design; and he was able to pilot the aeroplane himself to deliver an innovative airliner in great style to the authorities in Washington in 1944.


Many rich men do not know what to do with their wealth. Howard Hughes did many things with his, and his name is remembered by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in Washington today. This is a great story, and Paladwr Press is proud to have told it.

The aircraft on the dust jacket of this book are all drawn to the same scale. They dramatically emphasize the size of the Kaiser-Hughes HK-1 Hercules.


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