Aviator and Pioneer
Pilot, Engineer, Inventor, Filmmaker, Entrepreneur
Houston, Texas, native and business tycoon Howard Hughes developed a love of aviation at age 14 when he took his first airplane ride. In the 1930s he set a number of speed records in his Hughes H-1 Racer, one of the first aircraft to incorporate flush riveting to decrease drag. In1938 he set an around-the-world record by completing the flight in 91 hours, four days ahead of the previous mark. His interest in aviation coupled with his financial resources allowed him to pursue innovations in airplane design. Perhaps his most famous design was the H-4 Hercules flying boat commonly referred as the “Spruce Goose.” The largest aircraft of its time, it only flew once and was piloted by Hughes. Among the many enterprises that he founded or owned were Hughes Aircraft and Trans World Airlines (TWA).