Howard Hughes and the Spruce Goose

By Graham M Simons www.pen-and-sword.co.uk £19.99, hardback, 247 pages

With a wingspan stretching 320ft — the largest in history — the HK-1 Hercules was a monster of an aircraft. However, it flew only once; a mile-long foray above Long Beach Harbour on 2 November 1947.

Graham M Simons’ latest book provides all the information you will ever need to know about Howard Hughes’s famous project. From a brief history of the early years of its creator and his family, through to the nitty-gritty of the designing and building process, and the infamous Government hearings into the way in which funding was used. It is accompanied by a series of fascinating images documenting every facet of the aircraft’s construction.

Whether you take the view of the project being a misunderstood work of genius or a white elephant, it is hard not to come away from this account without an appreciation for the work that went into the ‘Spruce Goose’s’ construction. A terrific insight into the creation of a titan.