Brute Force!


73 years ago, the Spruce Goose (Hughes Flying Boat H4 Hercules) taxied out and surprised the world!

On October 3rd, 1947, Howard Hughes, surprised the press, and  on-lookers as he throttled up and lifted the Spruce Goose to 70 feet off the harbor. Although the flight lasted for just one minute Hughes had proven his concept, and the Spruce Goose was never flown again.

BTW -  Did you know that this winged behemoth measures 218 ft long, 79 ft high, a 320 ft. wingspan, more than 250,000 lbs (125 tons), and it boasts 8 Pratt & Whitney R-4360 Wasp Major 28-cylinder, 3,000 hp air-cooled radial piston engines?

That makes the H4 Hercules the biggest, most powerful, and heaviest radial engine powered amphibious aircraft in the world. Not to mention the fact it is made of wood.

Learn more about the history, first flight, and legacy of this mammoth airplane.

Better yet, come see it for yourself at the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum, in McMinnville, Oregon.


Got something to say? We want to hear from you! Leave a Comment

Gus Bergamo

Amazing machine!

Is it still in the Evergreen Museum?

It’s one of the machines I definitely want to see in person.

All the best,

Gus Bergamo

Sharon Boogren

My Uncle Bud was the crew chief on that flight and my day in a PT boat next to the plane for the amazing flight! I have a cribbage board made of the wood of the plane.

Marge Wallace Vickrey

Sharon Boogren - Charles “Bud” Jucker was my uncle too. My dad’s sister husband. Small world.

Laureano Mier

Date of Historic Flight was November 2, 1947 not October 3, 1947 as your article states........

Laureano Mier

Wingspan is 319 feet 6 inches. Vertical fin is 89 feet tall. How can such critical information like this have gone so wrong? Did your Museum remove over 100 feet of wing and ten feet of vertical stabilizer? Someone needs to rewrite this “Brute Force” article


Recall my tours of the museum in 2005,06 & 07 . Was simply blown away by the array of displays. Ofcourse the king of the museum was & seems like still is the Spruce Goose. Wishing this museum many years of successful displays and additional new displays in future.


big epik plan 1987


(Laureano your measurements are incorrect. Please double check you research before you try to discredit places.) This is an awesome piece of history that I recommend people come see. I’ve only seen it once up close but fell in love with it the first time I saw it. Even driving by I am in awe over it. Truly awesome machines at this museum. Flight is awesome and a gift we take for granted!!!

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