Take off your coat, and stay awhile…

The Machine, The Design, The Man | Howard Hughes

Few men have garnered the mystery and allure that the greatest aviator of the 20th century possessed. As a man of intrigue, and great sophistication, Howard Hughes was characterized as being one of the most brilliant men of our time while pushing the limits of personal achievement. His accomplishments would mark everything from aerospace to film.

Within the great complexities of his psyche, lie a remarkable understanding for form and aesthetic design.  Having designed the aircraft that smashed the air speed record of 1935 at 352 mph, Howard Hughes and his Hughes H1 Racer, shared the qualities of being elegant and simple. Even his experimental reconnaissance aircraft designated the Hughes XF-11, pioneered a streamlined design and functional innovations such as counter rotating props.

However, the man, as any visionary of great standing, led a dual life of both great simplicity and great complexity. Complexity existed in the depths of his mind, and simplicity existed in his vision and the creative product his mind produced. No man can deny the simplicity found in his groundbreaking designs. The coexistence of complexity and simplicity, is one of internal and external interplay respectively.

As such, Howard Hughes, while being a complex man within, appeared on the exterior to be a simple man with similar qualities to the fruits of his great mind. That is to say, they looked damn good when his clarity was there. Elegance and sophistication met on a plain of simplicity to create one of the most compelling looking men to tear an airplane through the sky. Not to mention, one of the best worn fedoras to date. Below you will find one of the best dressed men to grace the sky.

The best dressed man in the skies of the 30s and 40s.

Howard looking the part of world class airmen at the All-American Air Meet in Miami (1934). (Property of UNLV)

Howard and the Northrop Gamma Racer with Blazer. (Property of UNLV)

Howard surveying his H1 Racer in proper attire. (Property of UNLV)

Howard on the set of Hells Angels (Property of Wisconsin Historical Images)

Double breasted coat and white slacks done right, with biplane.

Howard in the midst of one of his movie productions.

Howard surveying a Lockheed Super Electra (Property of UNLV)

Howard and the Douglas DC-3 (Property of UNLV)

Howard completing a ground inspection with his signature fedora and white oxford. (Property of UNLV)

Howard and his H1 Racer, with a dead ringer for the G10 Baracuta Jacket.

Howard Hughes (1905 – 1976)

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