Saturday, December 29, 2007

Howard Hughes' penthouse in the air

hughes-allen  In 1940, Boeing built the first high-altitude commercial transport and the first four-engine airliner in scheduled service within the United States, the Model 307 Stratoliner. Used by Pan American Airways and Trans World Airlines, its pressurized cabin allowed it to fly above the weather, and its wide fuselage had space for sleeping berths. Howard Hughes bought one and converted it into a flying penthouse. The Stratoliner was the first plane to have a flight engineer as a crewmember. 

A total of 10 Stratoliners were built. The first flight was on December 31, 1938. By 1940 it was flying routes between Los Angeles and New York, as well as to locations in Latin America. Multi-millionaire Howard Hughes purchased a model for his personal use, and had it transformed into a luxurious "flying penthouse". This plane was later sold to oil tycoon Glenn McCarthy in 1949.[1]

Haiti and the United States have used the 307 in military operations.cutaway

The only surviving Boeing Model 307 (NC19903), operated by Pan Am, is preserved in flying condition at the Smithsonian Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center. On March 29, 2002 this particular aircraft was subject to a dramatic crash in which it ditched into Elliott Bay in Seattle, Wash., on what was to be its last flight before heading to the Smithsonian.[2] Despite the incident, it has again been restored and is now on display.

The fuselage of Howard Hughes' personal 307 survives, although it has been converted into a boat.[3]. Below are pictures of the luxurious "flying penthouse".



 flyingpenthouse interior-01Hopper-Jessel interior-03 tail-1949-02



A restored Boeing 307 ex-Pan Am on display at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center







No comments:


Howard Hughes Pictures

Was Howard Hughes a visionary or an eccentric

Where is Mr Hughes buried?