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An overlay diagram showing four of the largest airplanes ever built, the Hughes H-4 Spruce Goose (aircraft with the greatest wingspan), the Antonov An-225 Mriya (the largest aircraft), the Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental (the largest version of the Boeing 747 Jumbojet), and the Airbus A380-800 (the largest passenger aircraft).
Howard Hughes's H-4 Hercules - The "Spruce Goose" - It flew only once on Nov. 2, 1947. The Hercules is the largest flying boat ever built and has the largest wingspan of any aircraft in history. They really weren't sure it would lift off - but it did.
Likely the most well known of all Hughes’ aircraft, the Hughes H-4 Hercules, affectionately known as the Spruce Goose, was the largest aircraft in the world at the time of its construction.The aircraft was intended as a trans-Atlantic transport capable of defeating the German U-boat presence. Due to war time rationing, the contract specified the aircraft be made of “non-critical materiel” leading to its famous moniker. It was powered by 8 R-4360 engines,