Spruce Goose, Long Beach
The Scorpion is a Soviet-built Foxtrot-class submarine from the Cold War period. She was powered by diesel engines. Operating on battery power, she could remain submerged for several days at a time. This vessel was used for reconnaissance, and later as a training ship for crews from Soviet client states such as Cuba, Libya, and Syria.
Be careful while maneuvering about this sub. The rooms are all watertight, connected by small doorways with hatches. She is very dirty inside; you'll probably get dirt on your hands. But for a navy or historical buff, this is a must-see.
If you are visiting the Queen Mary, you can get a combination ticket that includes entrance to the Russian Foxtrot Submarine, the Scorpion, or if you just want to see the Scorpion there is a separate admission charge, currently $10. I've toured the U505 submarine at Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry so I really didn't feel a need to tour this sub.
This sub was built in 1972, decommisioned from the Russian Navy in 1994. It was not a captured sub as I thought, instead it was purchased in 1995 by a group of private businessmen, transported to Sydney Australia to The National Maritime Museum and 3 years later sent to Long Beach.
If you want a little more hisory, click on the website listed
Inside the sub it is spartan and cramped. There are steep ladders and small hatches for doorways between the compartments with narrow corridors. Not for those who suffer claustrophobia. Hard to imagine anyone living in such cramped conditions for months on end.
Russian submarine (code name: Scorpion) lies right under the Queen Mary’s bow which is ironic considering that the ship escape destruction from enemy submarines during World War II.
Built in 1972, the sub was a veteran of the Soviet Navy Pacific Fleet for 22 years and is now open for public viewing. The sub weights 2,500 ton and is a Soviet Fox-Trot class submarine B-427.
Now commonly known as the 'Spruce Goose' (which Hughes hated), the aircraft has gone on to become a popular cultural artifact which has a remarkable story of sacrifice, determination, and technological development by Hughes and his team.
The Spruce Goose is still the biggest aircraft ever built and was decades ahead of its time in the early 1940s. It revolutionized jumbo flying bodies and large lift potential, shaping modern flight today. The popular Spruce Goose is now appropriately regarded as a true American icon.
On September 16, 2000 the Hughes Flying Boat was moved to its new permanent home in McMinnville, Oregon. the dome is now used as a giant movie set for films such as 'Batman' and 'Jack Frost') in Long Beach, California.
On November 2, 1947, Howard Hughes and a small engineering crew cranked the engines up for a taxi test. Howard Hughes took the controls and the Flying Boat lifted 70 ft off the water over Long Beach Harbour. It flew one mile in less than a minute at a top speed of 80 miles per hour then came in to make a perfect landing.
This was to be the only flight it ever made. It then sat for years in an aircraft hangar until Hughes' death in 1976, it was donated to the Aero Club of Southern California. It emerged from its hangar after 33 years, eventually to become a tourist attraction.
Engineers hung eight of the most powerful engines available on the huge wings (Wingspan: 319.92' (97.54m). They designed an enormous fuel storage and supply system to allow the long oceanic flights (Fuselage: 219' (66-75m).
Along the course of being built, the Flying Boat’s development encountered tremendous design and engineering problems, from the testing of new concepts for large-scale hulls to the incorporation of complex power boost systems that gave the pilot the power of 100 men in controlling this Hercules. All were overcome. Because of the war, metal was scarce.
Most of Hughes colleagues scoffed at his notion to build a wood aircraft, which was mostly birch, less than 10% was spruce, and thought it impossible.
The Spruce Goose was built from an urgent national need to fly over the enemy submarines ravaging shipping lanes during World War II. Billionaire, Howard Hughes, responded to the call with his Hughes Flying Boat which was to be the biggest airplane ever built and probably the most extraordinary aviation project of all time. A disgruntled US Senator once dubbed it the ‘flying lumberyard’ (Gross Weight: Approx. 400,000 lbs. (181,440 kg.).
This World War II tank was in the Dome along with the Spruce Goose. One of the exhibits of World War II.