The recluse United States' billionaire, Howard Hughes, wasn't a recluse in the 1930's. And among?
The recluse United States' billionaire, Howard Hughes, wasn't a recluse in the 1930's. And among the other things that kept him in the public's eye were his extravagant plans for his "Spruce Goose" -- an all plywood aircraft bigger than the modern day Being 747 Jumbo jet.
He hoped the U.S. Government would contract with his to build the wooden flying monster and use it as a troop carrier during World War Two. Many people didn't believe the Spruce Goose would even fly so Hughes himself took to the controls and proved that it would.
But by then the war was over and the hoped-for troop carrying contract forgotten. Still, the Government bought the prototype and forgot about it.
But Hughes leased it back for 800 U.S. dollars (360 sterling) a year, moved it to a pier in Long Beach, California, and built a warehouse around it. Hughes spent another 100,000 U.S. dollars (44,000 sterling) a year to lease the pier.
But the Atlantic Richfield Oil Company wants to buy the pier and the city of Long Beach had threatened to cancel the lease. Now it has agreed to a one year extension.
Why is Hughes' holding on to the Spruce Goose and spending that money? That's the mystery.