Mar 18, 2016
By Stewart Bailey, Museum Curator
Yesterday, the Museum was pleased to host a special guest, Mr. Jim Grant; the son of the Spruce Goose’s co-pilot, Dave Grant. At the age of 30, Dave Grant was the designer of the aircraft’s hydraulic system and was selected by Howard Hughes to be in the co-pilot’s seat on the day of the taxi tests which saw the one and only flight of the giant airplane; even though he wasn’t a licensed pilot! Dave Grant continued to work on the Flying Boat project for several years after the flight, before going to work on the Hughes XH-17 helicopter project and the Surveyor lunar probes that preceded the manned landings on the moon. The younger Grant also worked for Hughes for a while before going into public service and is retired from the City of Los Angeles.
Jim, who makes his home in the Los Angeles area, came up to see the Flying Boat, and to talk with the volunteers about his father and his career with Hughes. One piece of memorabilia he brought with him was the license plate off his father’s car, which carried the civil registration number of the Goose; NX 37602. Jim also spent time in the Museum’s archives and had a chance to look through reports written by his father, and even see some of his hand-written notes. It was also a great opportunity to learn more facts and stories that the docents can share with the public during tours of the plane.
Stop by and visit sometime soon, and hear some of the new things our team has learned about the Spruce Goose!