Courtesy Aircraft, which sells warbirds, needs some help solving a mystery about an aviation legend: Howard Hughes. The company is selling a C-47 that was once owned by the Hughes Aircraft Co., but has little information about it.
Here’s what company officials know: In 1932, Hughes formed the Hughes Aircraft Co. as a division of the Hughes Tool Co. Hughes Aircraft thrived on wartime contracts during World War II and by the early 50’s, it was one of America’s leading defense contractors and aerospace companies. During these busy times, a C-47 was purchased by the company. The registration was signed by Howard Hughes’ right hand man, Glenn Oderkirk. Oderkirk, also known as “Ode,” contributed his work to the legendary H-4 Hercules (Spruce Goose) as well as helping design the fastest land plane in the world during the time, the Hughes H-1.
Could this C-47 aircraft have been flown by the legendary Howard Hughes? Courtesy Aircraft Sales is brokering N88786 (now registered as N293WM) and is in search of additional history on this aircraft so the next owner will have a more detailed understanding. To fly in the same cockpit as Mr. Hughes would be a great honor for any pilot, company officials note, adding, “One way or another, this aircraft has a famous past: A true historic “gem” that we need to preserve.”