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Kellett/Hughes XH-17 Flying Crane

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HRH and the XH-17 on October 23, 1952. Test Pilot Gale J. Moore is second from left. This was one of Hughes' last public appearances.

After the XH-28 program was abandoned in 1956, the XH-17 was decommissioned and eventually donated to Ed Maloney for his Planes of Fame museum. There was no practical or economical way to transport the giant helicopter to Chino, so it was scrapped, most likely at Hughes Airport in Culver City.

Work on the hot cycle rotor resumed in 1964, with the Hughes Model 385 (XV-9A).
 

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Jos Heyman

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I have some problems with the suggestion that the XH-17 was intended to go to Planes of Fame at Chino, bearing in mind that the first flight of the XH-17 was in 1952 and that the test programme probably did not last that long.
Ed Maloney was from Claremont, CA and he opened his museum in 1957. I presume that it was located at Claremeont. In 1963 the museum moved to Ontario Airport and it was not until 1973 that it moved to Chino. This all from the Planes of Fame website.
It is possible that the XH-17 was offered to Maloney in the late 1950's but that transport to Clarement (not Chino) would have been difficult (seems likely to me)? Alternatively it is possible that Hughes stored the XH-17 until 1973 (seems unlikely to me)?
So what did the source reference state and is it possible that somebody, in their infinite wisdom, added the suggestion that it was to be at Chino at a later date?
 

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Jos, this info came from a magazine article (RAF Flying Review, I believe) -- I have to look for it, but you are absolutely correct. The Chino location was wrongly entered by me, out of habit. XH-17 testing ended in late 1955, but the aircraft was kept in flyable storage for some time after that. I don't know exactly when it was offered to Ed Maloney, but he remembered it vividly when I spoke to him about 15 years ago.

One could wonder why the XH-17 wasn't just flown to its resting place, but it was actually never flown beyond the confines of Hughes Airport, never higher than about 100 feet, and only into the wind, toward the ocean. It was only insured to fly westward, and was towed back after each flight. Test Pilot Gale Moore once got himself in hot water when he turned the XH-17 around, facing east.
 

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Thanks for clarifying this. Your explanation of the flight schedule limitation is very interesting, especially the westward flight only.
 

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Photos of the Hughes XH-17, proof-of-concept for the XH-28 and the world's largest helicopter for many years.
 

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