|(11/2/47)In May 1942, Howard Hughes began to build the world's largest airplane, or what he called at the time "an unsinkable liberty ship." The aircraft was designed to carry 700 troops. Initially, it was a joint venture between Hughes and Kaiser shipping, but Kaiser pulled out. Ultimately, Hughes spent $7 million of his own money on the project, while the US Government spent $17 million. Many people said that it would never get off the ground. On November 2, they were proved wrong. The giant Spruce Goose, whose wing span was 320 feet, lifted off for a one mile flight across the harbor. The plane was never to fly again.