Silver Bullet

No airplane in the world could outshine Howard Hughes’ H-1 Racer—until Jim Wright built a copy of it.

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I made sure to stop and see the airplane and talk to Burk every time I went out to fly. Was he in contact with Howard Hughes? Was Hughes concerned about the Racer? Would he want to see it after it was restored?

“Hughes’ physical condition is not good,” Burk reported, “but I keep him aware of the Racer’s status.”

On a Friday afternoon in the late fall of 1975, 40 years after Hughes set the world speed record, the Racer was ready for its long trip to Washington. The fuselage and the wings were packed in large wooden boxes, which were then placed on the flatbed trailers of two trucks. It was sad to watch the trucks depart eastbound; a chapter in the history of the Hughes Aircraft Company had come to an end.

—George J. Marrett

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