Get an Up Close Look at Howard Hughes Legendary “Flying Boat” July 4 -7 at Fantasy of Flight
Howard Hughes’ 1937 Sikorsky S-43 Flying Boat has arrived at Fantasy of Flight. Be one of the first to see this utterly unique and extraordinarily rare aircraft up close this holiday weekend. The fuselage of the Sikorsky will be on display for public viewing and photos on the Fantasy of Flight ramp from Thursday, July 4 through Sunday, July 7 (weather permitting). The wings of the plane will also be on display during the 2:15 p.m. Restoration Shop tour each day this weekend.
Annual Pass Holders can have an even closer look at this piece of aviation and Hollywood history. With proof of membership, Annual Pass Holders can go inside of the plane from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 11:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Sunday.
Fantasy of Flight founder and owner, Kermit Weeks, will be available to answer questions and discuss the unique story behind his acquisition of the aircraft. Regular adult admission to Fantasy of Flight is $29.95. An annual pass is $69.95.
This plane has a storied past. Howard Hughes acquired it in 1937 for the purpose of setting a new record for flying around the world. With the onset of WWII and invention of a faster airplane, Hughes abandoned the use of the Sikorsky for that mission, setting a new record in 1938. Prior to finalizing the sale of the plane to the US government during the war, Hughes used the Sikorsky for water testing during the development of the gigantic eight-engine HK-1 Flying Boat, nicknamed “Spruce Goose” by the press. During a test flight, he was involved in a water crash landing, which killed two passengers and seriously injured Hughes. He paid to have the Sikorsky salvaged and invested a large sum of money into its restoration. He flew the Sikorsky until 1952, often using it to travel around the country as well as entertain his Hollywood starlets.
If you would like a more in depth look at the Sikorsky, Kermit Weeks will also be available for interview by appointment. High-resolution footage was taken of the plane’s arrival on June 27th. If you are interested in an interview and/or photos or video, please contact Katie Worthington at 862-299-9980 x 1022 or by cell at 863-604-0982.