Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
BTW, I haven't seen the film yet nor have I read up much on this plane; but could you tell me whether there were any technical/practical problems with it, or was it only grounded after the test flight because of intrigues?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Apr 11th, 2006 at 08:31:24 AM EST
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Yes there were technical/practical problems with it, and probably intrigues.
But I think the real reason was WW II was over, there was no need anymore for such a giant plane and budgets were needed elswhere.
But lots of opinions exists :

Why did Hughes never fly the plane again? Some said he was afraid to, but his closest associates denied it. The more likely explanation is that there was no reason to continue. The war was long over. The need for big seaplanes had evaporated. Wood construction was obviously a dead end. Even before the flight Hughes admitted that the plane was too large to be economical. Claiming there were still research lessons to be learned, he stubbornly kept the work going until around 1952.

Was the Spruce Goose an impractical boondoggle? Absolutely. Was it completely off the wall? No. The plane was flyable--no small point. In fact, in 1977 the U.S. Navy seriously considered test flights with the H-4 as part of research into low-altitude transoceanic flight. Didn't happen, which is probably just as well. But one thing you have to give Howard Hughes: he may have been crazy, but he was no fool

The Spruce Goose was intended to carry up to 750 fully equipped troops, or two Sherman class tanks . Hughes and his team had broken ground in the development of this plane, that they did it in wood is even more remarkable. Though the project finished behind schedule....they were ahead of their time!

The struggle of man against tyranny is the struggle of memory against forgetting.(Kundera)
by Elco B (elcob at scarlet dot be) on Tue Apr 11th, 2006 at 10:03:43 AM EST
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