Founded in 1935 by businessman/film magnate Howard Hughes to produce the Hughes H-1 racing aeroplane, in which Hughes established a world landplane speed record of 352.46mph (567.23kmh). The Hughes XF-11 experimental twin-engined, twin-boom photo-reconnaissance aircraft, which had contrarotating propellers, crashed on its maiden flight, seriously injuring Hughes. He then sponsored the massive Hughes H-4 Hercules. Made entirely of wood, this eight-engined flying-boat had the greatest wingspan (320 ft; 97.54 m) of any aircraft built to date. It made its one and only flight on November 2,1947 with Howard Hughes at the controls. Between 1949-1952 the Hughes Aircraft Company built and tested the XH-1 heavylift helicopter, designed as a "flying crane" for the USAF.

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