On November 2, 1947, the largest aircraft ever built took its only flight. Skimming across the surface of the water off of Long Beach, California, Howard Hughes flew the HK-1 Flying Boat prototype a distance of one mile.|
Originally built as an alternative to war-time troop and material transport, the end of World War II came before the prototype was completed. Hughes nevertheless pressed on with construction, in spite of the jeers of the press, which labeled it "Hughes' Folly." Despite the successful first and only flight, the HK-1 soon returned to its hangar.
After the death of Mr. Hughes, the Walt Disney Company briefly had the plane open as a tourist attraction in Long Beach. But after ten years, it was sold to Evergreen Aviation in McMinnville, Oregon. In the year 1992, the entire plane was shipped to McMinnville in four large pieces, shrink-wrapped to protect it from the elements.
Over the next eight years, the Goose waited in a temporary hangar where volunteers spent countless hours "sprucing up" the Goose. The final destination was just across the street, in a new state-of-the-art Aviation Museum. On this day, the World's largest plane was moved with great fanfare to its new location, the Captain Michael King Smith Evergreen Aviation Educational Institute. What follows is a photo-journal of that final move.