Spruce Goose Hanger Sold

The Los Angeles Times reported its Dec. 24 edition that Japanese investors have purchased the Playa Vista building where Howard Hughes built the famed Spruce Goose in the 1940s.

More than $300 million was paid for the property north of LAX, which includes the huge 7-story tall hanger and three smaller buildings that are currently leased by Google. Gone is the landing strip and the two dozen other buildings used by Hughes Aircraft Company on what was once a 260-acre site.

The “flying boat” with a 320-foot wingspan was actually manufactured using birch due to the shortage of aluminum during WW11. It flew just once – for one minute and one mile with Hughes at the controls – on Nov. 2, 1947 off Cabrillo Beach, to prove that it would actually fly.

The H4 Hercules aircraft was subsequently stored in Long Beach at Pier E, then in 1983 put on public display in an egg-like dome next to the Queen Mary. In the early 1990s it was relocated to the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum in McMinnville, Ore., where it is currently on display.

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