His genius,visions, passions and mystique.

Achievements in Aviation


                 " I want to be remembered for only one thing my contribution to aviation." - Howard Hughes jr.

Bob McCaffery pays tribute to Howard Hughes calling him, "THE FATHER OF COMMERCIAL AVIATION".


1920 - At age 14, takes his first flight in a Curtiss flying boat;

October, 1927 - Begins filming World War I flying epic, Hells' Angels; spends $ 500,000 for more than 40 vintage fighter and scouting aircrafts, world's largest private airforce;

07 January, 1928 - Receives pilot's license;

30 January, 1930- His film "Hell's Angels" premiers in Hollywood.Aviation
sequences remain unequalled;

Spring,1932 - Founds Hughes Aircraft Company in Glendale,California;

14 January, 1934- Wins first-place air trophy in Miami in a modified Boeing;

1934 - Develops and tests the first retractable landing gear
and flushed rivets to streamline airplane designs in the

13 September, 1935 - Sets new land speed record of 352.46 mph at Santa
Ana, California, in the Silver Bullet, the world's fastest
plane built by Hughes Aircraft (made a forced landing
in a beet field,during the final run,at 100 mph);

1935 - Proves, in a series of death-defying flights over the
Sierra Nevada that high-altitude flying greatly
increases airspeed,opening a new frontier for
commerical aviation;

14 January, 1936 - Sets new transcontinental speed record from LA to
Newark of 9 hours and 27 mins.

1936 - Designs and perfects an oxygen feeder that enhances
pilot safety during high-altitude flights;

19 January,1937 - Makes the worlds greatest long-distance speed flight
setting a new transcontinental record from LA to
Newark, New Jersey of 7 hrs, 28 mins;

03 March, 1937 - Receives prestigious Harmon International Trophy as
the world's outstanding aviator for 1936 in ceremony
at the White House with Pres.Franklin Roosevelt present-
ing Hughes the trophy, given by the Ligue Internationale
des Aviateurs.Hughes is only the 3rd American to receive
the honor,following Charles Lindbergh and Wiley Post.

10-14 July, 1938 - Flies around the world in 3 days,19 hrs.and 17 mins;
Hughes establishes a new world record and returns
home a ticker-tape hero;

1939- Perfects power-boosting radio receivers and transmit-
ters in contemporary aircraft;

1941-43 - Designs revolutionary ammunition feed chutes for 50-caliber
machine guns,doubling the rate of fire;

07 July, 1946 -Survives fiery near-fatal Beverly Hills crash of XF-11 which
is designed for photo reconnoissance.He later redesigns
propeller configuration for the next prototype;

1946-49 -As principal shareholder of TWA he designs the first cost-effective
routes to Europe and South Pacific;

05 April,1947 - Climbs back into the XF-11 for a successful test flight;

02 Nov. 1947- Proves his critics wrong with surprise test flight of the
Hercules aka HK-1( Spruce Goose). The Long Beach ,California
flight lasted less than 60 sec.,but it reinvents Hughes as an
aviation hero and remains one of the most famous flights

1940s - Builds Hughes Electronics into a single largest supplier of weapons
systems for the US Air Force and Navy;

1941-56 - Builds Hughes Aircraft from a 4 man operation into an 80 thousand
employee powerhouse that includes Hughes Electronics and
Hughes Helicopters (company develops 33 hundred Ph.D.s);

1949- Develops the" all-weather Interceptor", an electronic weapons
control system with a combined radar set and computer, capable of
finding and destroying enemy planes day and night and in any sort
of weather;

1950-56 - Conceives and manufactures the "air-to-air missile"
which seeks out its target and then locks in through
a fail-proof system of radio impulses.Deadly and
quick,this guided missile was considered to be the
most important contribution to the defence of North
America since radar;

1950-56 - Invents, then mass-produces, the navigational
control system of the F-102 interceptor- the
backbone of the American air defense strategy
of the 50s and 60s;

1959-1964- revolutionizes the nation's war-time helicopter
capabilty through $440 million in govt.contracts.
Builds the TH55A helicopter-the foreruner of
maneuvable choppers for battle conditions;

1960s- Pioneers and produces the unmanned satellite proto-
types,virtually clearing the way for the onset of
today's satellite era;

14 Dec.,1973- Inducted into the Aviation Hall of Fame in
Dayton, Ohio.Officials there hoped that
the elusive Hughes would show up to
accept the honor,but he instead sent
Ed Lund, the only surviving member of
the 1938 around-the-world flight.

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