American Wooden Miracle Airplane Hughes H-4 Hercules turned out to be a real giant in the world of aviation


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In the history of world aviation existed and there are various models of civil and military aircraft. But there are those that differ from others with their huge sizes. Such aircraft can be attributed: An-225 «Mriya», Airbus A380-800 and Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental. But there is a plane, which is still of even greater dimensions. Such an aircraft is the world’s largest HUGHES HUGHES H-4 Hercules, which can still be called the largest boat aircraft.

The title of the biggest plane is assigned to him, including the biggest scope of the wings — 97.5 meters. Of course, in the first place now we can attribute the stratolaunch two-body aircraft with a scope of the wings of 117 meters. But still, the first place, we will give exactly the creation of Howard Hughes. Yes, and the creator of the aircraft himself, loved him and wanted to make an impeccable car from him. The plane was really turned out to be perfect, externally cute. By the way, as you guessed, he really is made of wood.

There is nothing surprising in this if you learn the story of this wonderful aircraft. The fact is that the idea of the aircraft Hughes H-4 Hercules appeared at the beginning of World War II, namely in 1942. Just at that moment, the allies suffered defeat from Germany in the water area of the Atlantic Ocean, losing a huge number of ships and coneders necessary for the supply of Great Britain, the remaining of the only fought country against Germany in the territory of Western Europe.

In addition, it was necessary not only to supply British food and natural resources for the defense needs of Great Britain, but also to move military equipment and other goods. We must not forget about the delivery of Land Lisa for the Soviet Union to the northern ports, which was taken away from the Atlantic. The flight specifications Hughes H-4 Hercules were to be as follows: Dimensions: Length — 66.45 m, height — 24.08 m, wing scope — 97.54 m. The maximum speed reached 565 km / h., Cruising speed It would be about 407 km / h. The range of flight would reach 5634 km., And the ceiling is 7.1 km, which would be enough to overcome the Atlantic Ocean. The crew consisted of 3 people.

And now, back to the fact that the aircraft was wooden. Its designs and trim, made of birch. And the outer part of the fuselage is simply painted by «aluminum» paint. Although, externally, this aircraft does not differ from others. Even do not assume that he is wooden. But, initially, the aircraft thought as an aluminum. But during the war, aluminum was missing, and the place of the aircraft itself was postponed all the time. So built it by 1947 from Birch.

Another reason for the fact that he was made of wood was that in 1944 the need for this transported disappeared, as the superiority in the Atlantic was disheighted, and the Soviet troops had a Germany itself. The US authorities wanted to cancel the order for the creation of this transport worker, but the enthusiasm of the Creator of the Howard Hughes aircraft — brought this car to a logical end. As a result, the plane rose into the air into his first and last flight in 1947. The funny thing is that Howard Hughes did not have the official permission of the authorities on this flight. But this flight he wanted to prove that his creation could rise into the air and fly.

The plane took off from the surface of the Pacific Ocean in Los Angeles on November 2, 1947 and flew at an altitude of about 21 meters above the sea surface. The car flew 2 kilometers along the Los Angeles coast and gently sat down that it can fly, even in a wooden state. In the air, the aircraft raised eight radial piston engines R-4360 Wasp Major Pratt & Whitney, which had air cooling. Each engine could develop the power of 3000 hp These engines rotated huge five-meter four-blade screws. The plane was able to independently move back and turn around the place due to the engines who were able to create a reversible traction.

After the flight, the plane was continued to serve for many decades, and then in 1993 it was transported to the Aviation Museum in McMinnville (Oregon) and now, it is a cultural property and pride and symbol of aircraft manifestation. Every year, this unusual museum exhibit visits more than 300 thousand tourists.

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