HK-1 evolution

Skybolt

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Like every airplane, the Hughes Kaiser Model 1 (AKA Hercules AKA Spruce Goose, Howard forgiving) passed through a series of concepts before his design being frozen. So, behold. The concepts were numbered from 1 to 7 (the "good" one) and you can notice influences from a number of famous seaplane design schools from around the world. Weight and overall dimensions went steadily up during the process. Unfortunately, nothing is (AFAIK) known of the shape of the original concept drawn by Kaiser's engineers and flatly rejected by Hughes. I owe these images to my friend Lark, to whom go my best wishes.
 

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Skybolt

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Concepts from 2 to 4
 

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Skybolt

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Last 3 concepts. Source is "Howard Hughes and his Hercules", by John J. McDonald.
 

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Antonio

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first of all thanks a lot for that post.

I've been looking for the book and it is not an expensive one. Do you recommend it? Looking at the pics I get very curious about that effort to produce the Hercules.
 

Orionblamblam

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Skybolt said:
nothing is (AFAIK) known of the shape of the original concept drawn by Kaiser's engineers and flatly rejected by Hughes.

Except, of course, for this one:
http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,3571.0.html
 

Skybolt

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Thanks Scott, the unnamed one could well be a variation of Concept 3. As for the Kaiser Cargo, the gross weight would be right (the Kaiser proposal is referred to as 70-ton plane). The configuration of the tailess design doesn't seem adaptable as a seaplane, though. So perhaps there was another proposal yet.
Pome, I recommend but "cum grano salis", the book is at times in the often travelled road of "poor Howard, if the top brass hadn't hated him so much...".
 

circle-5

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One of the earlier HK-1 designs. Note 3-bladed props and clamshell loading doors, both of which were built and survived in a long term parts storage warehouse for several decades.
 

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Stargazer2006

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Wonder what the designation would have been... Since this was a Hughes-Kaiser aircraft, I suggest XJRK-1...
 

airman

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well at the end a short flight @ 26 metres (officially) or 10 metres ( for more observers) altitude at 150 km/h for one mile : unique and last flight ! ;D ;D
Where was mistakes on these project ? ??? ???
Unsufficient power or what ? :(
 

XP67_Moonbat

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Makes me wish I knew where my souvenir book from the Spruce Goose was. Some of the pics Skybolt posted were in it. My folks won a CA vacation in the 80's and we visited the Long Beach site and I remember the souvenir book they got me. I just wish I could remember where it went to.
 

Jos Heyman

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To Stargazer - by suggesting that designation you may have planted the seed for much confusion amongst aviation historians of about 50 years from now. ;).
Of course the designation XJRK-1 was already used for a four engined light transport flying boat for 37 passengers to be built by Nash Kelvinator but which was not built. A Nash Kelvinator advertisement from 1942 shows the Sikorsky JR2S (S-44). It is possible that consideration was given to building the JR2S at the Nash Kelvinator plant as XJRK-1, although there is no evidence whatsoever to support this assumption.

Seriously, from what we read about the relationship between the Kaiser concern and the US Government, it seems totally unlikely that the US Navy would have been interested in that aircraft (and if it was, would not have been allowed to be so). So my strong suggestion is that the pic in US Navy markings is just another one of Howard Hughes' dreams.
 

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Rickshaw

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Stargazer2006 said:
Wonder what the designation would have been... Since this was a Hughes-Kaiser aircraft, I suggest XJRK-1...

I'd have thought that depended on who was going to operate it. US Navy or USAAF?
 

Skybolt

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Neither, maybe. The contract was signed by the Defense Plant Corporation, a subsidary of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, owned by the Department of Commerce. It could have been operated by the DoComm, like a cargo ship.
 

XP67_Moonbat

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A little article on the HK-1

http://files.asme.org/ASMEORG/Communities/History/Landmarks/5570.pdf
 

blackkite

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Great find! Thanks for sharing us.
 

blackkite

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Hi!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OXZQewzdWzA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pm0r9KnAwk
 

RyanC

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I have a 1945 era production report on the HK-1 by the same people who did the XF-11 report. However, it's low on my list to OCR right now. Give me a few weeks to get around to it.
 

Schneiderman

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Found on ebay, Henry Kaiser with a model of an early design in 1942
 

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