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Hughes Racer Replica Photo Feature
Cottage Grove, OR.
May 22, 2002

Hughes Racer Replica
Report by: Wayne Sagar
Historic Hughes Racer Replica Nears Flight Status
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The Hughes H-1

In our report last week on NemesisNXT, we asked the question, "If you could let the wind shape an airplane, what would you come up with?" In 1935, Howard Hughes had that same question.

In today’s computer driven world, the quest to cheat the wind is somewhat easier than it was during the pre-war era in which our subject airplane was originally developed, but this did not stop Hughes and his team from creating the work of art that the H-1 racer was and is.

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Today, in the small Oregon town of Cottage Grove, this beautiful work of "machine art" has been recreated and is nearing completion.

In 1935, the Hughes name was not automatically associated with aviation as it is today. Howard Robard Hughes was determined to change this, and he did with the creation of his record breaking H-1 Racer.

The H-1 design is the result of exhaustive testing in the 200-mph wind tunnel at the California Institute of Technology’s Guggenheim Aeronautical Laboratory where Hughes and his team of engineers created the shape we see today. A shape that looks quite able to "cheat the wind" today as it did on September 13, 1935, when Hughes flew H-1 to set a world speed record of 352.322 mph at Santa Ana, California.

Keeping in mind that the military aircraft of that era were still, largely, fabric covered biplanes, the Hughes Racer represented a major leap in technology, not only in its very sleek design, but in the systems installed by Hughes and his team within the airplane.

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The Replica

Today, many of us revel in the recreation of historic aviation as we witness the flights of aircraft which evolved from this and other airplanes from that historic era of flight… If the scheduled completion and flight testing goals of the team in Cottage Grove are on track, this year at Reno, we will have the opportunity to witness history recreated and quite possibly rewritten!

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