Sunday, July 28, 2019

The Hughes H-1 racer Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1000 words

The Hughes H-1 racer - Essay Example Hughes, Jr.1 In 1934, Hughes formed the Hughes Aircraft Co., a division of the Hughes Tool Company. Their mission was to build the best racing planes in the world. Hughes Aircraft did just that when it built its first internally designed airplane in 1934: the H-1 racer. Howard Hughes, along with Richard Palmer and a small team of engineers, designed the H-1 racer and Glenn Odekirk, together with his team, built it.2 The wood and metal single-seat monoplane was streamlining at its very best, designed for speed, pure and simple. Designing, building, and extensively testing the plane took the team 18 months but it was well worth the effort. On September 13, 1935, Hughes himself piloted the H-1 to a record-breaking 352 miles per hour at Martin Field, near Santa Ana, California. The previous record was 314 miles per hour. The H-1 was not only the fastest plane, but it was the fastest plane that could fly from standard runways, had practical flight characteristics, and had an almost unimaginable range of nearly 4000 miles (Parker, 2002). The H-1 had two sets of wings. The wings Hughes used to break the landplane speed record were of a low aspect ratio and shorter than those which he used for high-altitude transcontinental flight. The former was originally intended only for short flights at low altitudes; in the latter, Hughes set a new transcontinental record on January 18, 1937 for long-distance, high altitude flights when he recorded an average speed of 332 miles per hour over a course of 2,490 miles.3 The H-1 was powered by a Pratt and Whitney Twin Wasp Junior radial piston engine rated at 700 horsepower at 8,500 feet but which could deliver 1,000 horsepower for high-speed flight. According to Hughes (as cited in Michel, n.d.), â€Å"the H-1 racer was fast because it was clean and yet it attained its speed with a Pratt and Whitney engine of perfectly

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