The Man.Howard Robard Hughes, Jr. ( December 24 , 1905 - April 5 , 1976 ) was a pioneering American aviator , engineer , industrialist , and film producer . He was widely known as a playboy and one of the wealthiest people in the world. He is famous for setting multiple world air-speed records, building the Hughes H-1 Racer and H-4 Hercules airplanes, producing the movies Hell's Angels and The Outlaw , owning and expanding TWA , and for his increasingly eccentric behavior later in life. I picked up this photo in Culver City California 25 years ago - dated Oct 23 rd 1952 It is a classic pose of Mr Hughes taken just 5 years after he flew the Spruce Goose I am not sure who the other men are but one looks like the test pilot of the XH-17 8X10" with stamp of Hughes Aircraft on back - dated Oct 23 1952 - great condition I would think original photos of him are rare About the aircraft: 1952 The first helicopter produced by Hughes, the giant XH-17 Flying Crane. The XH-17, which had a two-bladed main rotor system with a diameter of 134 feet, was capable of flying at a gross weight of more than 50,000 pounds. The XH-17 was a heavy-lift rotorcraft that was designed to lift loads in excess of 15 metric tons. In the late 1940s, Hughes developed an interest in helicopters. In August 1947, helicopter manufacturer Kellett sold his design for the giant XH-17 Sky Crane to Hughes. Howard Hughes Jr. commissioned the development of the XH-17 Flying Crane research vehicle. In 1948 aviation pioneer Howard Hughes, Jr. began to turn the giant XH-17 Flying Crane into a flying reality. The giant helicopter was flight tested in Culver City, Calif. over a three-year period beginning in 1952. The XH-17 flew in 1953 flew at a gross weight in excess of 50,000 pounds. It still holds the record for flying with the world's largest rotor system. Only one unit was built, since the behemoth was too cumbersome and inefficient to warrant further development.
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