Howard Hughes Crash
On July 7, 1946, Howard Hughes undertakes the first flight of his XF-11, designed to be the highest, fastest spy plane of its time. But the propeller fails, leaving Hughes without power. He crashes in Beverly Hills, destroying two homes and scarring himself for life.
A man in Laramie, WY owns a 1940s altimeter he received from his father, who claimed it came from the fiery crash. He’d been a Hughes employee for over 34 years and was there the day of the accident. Based on this altimeter’s near-perfect condition, experts are skeptical of its connection to the crash, but footage from Martin Scorcese’s The Aviator and a visit to Hughes’ “Spruce Goose” at the Evergreen Aviation Museum could challenge this assertion.
History Detectives determines if the altimeter can be traced back to America’s first billionaire.
- Also with Tukufu Zuberi Duke Ellington Plates What is the story behind the printing plates for this famous Jazz song?
- Also with Tukufu Zuberi War Dog letter The military put great effort into a new War Dogs program during WWII. What went wrong on Cat Island?
- Also with Tukufu Zuberi Our Colored Heroes Is this a WWI recruitment poster... or something else?
- Related Investigation Civil War Submarine Is this submarine an example of new technology developed by the Confederates during the Civil War?
- Related Investigation Transatlantic Cable How did this twisted fragment of metal spark a communications revolution?
- Also in Season 5 Amos n' Andy Record Is this aluminum record an early recording of the old-time radio series?
This is a place for opinions, comments, questions and discussion; a place where viewers of History Detectives can express their points of view and connect with others who value history. We ask that posters be polite and respectful of all opinions. History Detectives reserves the right to delete comments that don’t conform to this conduct. We will not respond to every post, but will do our best to answer specific questions, or address an error.