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Howard Hughes' Duesenberg at El Mirage, 1947 (not what you think)


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#1 Ace-Garageguy

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 06:12 AM

Converted to a glider tow and support vehicle at the El Mirage Soaring School. Yes, the El Mirage that was the mecca for early lakes racers, and still hosts speed events. Disregard what I said about Edwards AFB earlier. I was wrong.

Posted Image

Edited by Ace-Garageguy, 02 November 2012 - 07:16 AM.


#2 jeffs396

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 06:43 AM

Very cool! You gonna build it Bill?

I wonder what they used to tow his "Spruce Goose"??? :o ;)


Posted Image

#3 Ace-Garageguy

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 07:27 AM

Very cool! You gonna build it Bill?

I wonder what they used to tow his "Spruce Goose"??? :o ;)


....something big.

....I've got a couple of gluebomb Duesies, so maybe......It's definitely a 'dry lakes car'.........

#4 Craig Irwin

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 12:23 PM

The Spruce Goose flew on its own, was never towed. Also it was a float plane so any tow would have to have been from a boat.

#5 Ace-Garageguy

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 12:37 PM

The Spruce Goose flew on its own, was never towed. Also it was a float plane so any tow would have to have been from a boat.


It only flew once, and was pulled in and out of the water by something, as it was built in a hangar on dry land. In the past few years, it was moved to its current location from Long Beach, and that was a tow as well, in some places during the trip.

But you would be correct in that it was never towed to launch, as gliders (sailplanes) are.

It was also technically a flying-boat, not a floatplane. Hughes hated the nickname Spruce Goose, by the way. It is the H4 Hercules, and is built mostly of birch.

Edited by Ace-Garageguy, 31 October 2012 - 12:43 PM.


#6 GeeBee

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 02:45 AM

Very cool! You gonna build it Bill?

I wonder what they used to tow his "Spruce Goose"??? :o ;)


Posted Image


Good grief, I have watched a few films on Howard Hughes, but didn't realize just how big the 'Spuce Goose' actually was, thanks for posting it ....

#7 Ace-Garageguy

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 04:25 AM

Yes, and it's heartening to think enough people thought enough of aviation history to cough up enough money to save it, move it, and build a hangar big enough for it. That's a full-size DC-3 parked under its wing in the background.

#8 Chillyb1

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 04:05 PM

It was also technically a flying-boat, not a floatplane. ...and is built mostly of birch.

So perhaps the Birch Perch would be a more suitable sobriquet.

#9 doggie427

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 05:02 PM

Thanks Bill for posting these great pics .

#10 Crazy Ed

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 02:04 AM

Converted to a glider tow and support vehicle at the El Mirage Soaring School. Yes, the El Mirage that was the mecca for early lakes racers, and is today Edwards AFB.


El Mirage is still used by Lake Racers along with off roaders. Rogers Dry Lake is where Edwards AFB is located. Interesting shot nonetheless!

#11 Ace-Garageguy

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 07:15 AM

El Mirage is still used by Lake Racers along with off roaders. Rogers Dry Lake is where Edwards AFB is located. Interesting shot nonetheless!


You're absolutely correct, sir. I was at El Mirage just a few years ago, and really should have thought before I posted. Duh. Duh. Duh. I will correct the OP.

#12 Craig Irwin

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 11:50 AM

Is everyone SURE the Spruce Goose only flew once LOL!

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0088433/

Edited by Craig Irwin, 02 November 2012 - 11:50 AM.


#13 Ace-Garageguy

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 05:43 AM

El Mirage is still used by Lake Racers along with off roaders. Rogers Dry Lake is where Edwards AFB is located. Interesting shot nonetheless!


My brain just switched back on....I was thinking Muroc (also sometimes called Rogers, and Muroc is Corum, the previous owners family, spelled backwards) and saying El Mirage. Duh duh duh.

Is everyone SURE the Spruce Goose only flew once LOL!

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0088433/


At last the truth comes out....

#14 thatz4u

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 01:55 PM

to chop up a Duesenberg for ANYTHING means you don't have a cash flow problem....

#15 moparmagiclives

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 02:30 PM

Good grief, I have watched a few films on Howard Hughes, but didn't realize just how big the 'Spuce Goose' actually was, thanks for posting it ....


Untill your there, you still don't.
I've been to the Evergreen a few times, its still a shock walking in there and seeing something so massive. Even cooler walking through it ( a small section anyway)

#16 DustyMojave

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 04:29 PM

Well I'm not next to the Spruce Goose, but I can see El Mirage from my kitchen window. Been there a Zillion times. Dry lakes racing with SCTA, dirt bikes, offroad buggies and even land yachts. Until the Bureau of Land Management put a fence around the 19,000 acres and started charging $20 admission, my buddies and I used to ride our dirt bikes and buggies to there across the desert from our homes. Now we go around the outside of the BLM fence.

 

Me in the Kelly & Hall belly tank a few years ago

RichardInKellyHallBellyTank_6-06_24.jpg

 

The Basso, Klos, and Kong streamliner with a Wes Cooper/Kong Jackson built, Ray Basso owned Ford Flathead V8

0094.jpg

(me standing the other side of the canopy)

 

Gliders are launched south of my home next to the San Gabriel Mountains from the Crystalaire Glider Port. They are more safely towed aloft by small planes. Rides are available for a fee (last I heard it was $60).



#17 DustyMojave

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 04:36 PM

Edwards is north of my home and El Mirage is east. Muroc IS named after the Corum Brothers of Rosamund of about 100 years ago. The Air Force changed the name of the dry lake from Muroc to Rogers after a pilot who crashed there (IIRC). Edwards was a test pilot who crashed a Northrop Flying Wing bomber prototype in the late 40s.



#18 Danno

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Posted 22 July 2013 - 06:26 AM

Very interesting info. 



#19 1930fordpickup

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Posted 23 July 2013 - 04:32 PM

Nice . That is one big bird. 



#20 ToyLvr

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Posted 24 July 2013 - 05:43 PM

I was out in the Portland, Oregon area a while back on a business trip. I managed to find a little free time towards the end of the day, so I decided to head to the Evergreen museum to see the Spruce Goose.

I got there about 4PM, and the museum was scheduled to close at 5PM, so my goal was to head straight to the Goose display and spend all of my limited time there.

I was looking around for the big plane amongst a bunch of really awesome vintage aircraft, but didn't immediately see it. I suddenly realized that I was standing under one of its massive wings....

The picture that Jeff posted really gives a good perspective of the plane's size - it's Indescribable.