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 in Post War: 1945-1960 Pop Lloyd Baseball Field Why was this baseball field named after an African-American ballplayer in a time of racial tension?
- Also with Tukufu Zuberi Amos n' Andy Record Is this aluminum record an early recording of the old-time radio series?
- Also with Tukufu Zuberi John Brown Letters How is this woman in Sacramento related to John Brown, the 19th-century abolitionist?
- Related Investigation Sideshow Babies Was the owner of this cup once a four-pound sideshow exhibit?
- Also in Season 5 Cast Iron Eagle Did this 12-foot-high eagle once grace the old Grand Central Station in Manhattan?
- Also with Tukufu Zuberi 1856 Mormon Tale Is this tattered book a true account of female slavery in the old West?
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.