Celebrating its 75th Anniversary, an American Icon Flies Again

Oct. 21, 2022
Thanks to a strategic partnership between the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum and Xbox Game Studio, anyone can now virtually fly the Spruce Goose.

Seventy-five years ago, the largest wooden aircraft ever built, the Spruce Goose, took its first and only historic flight on Nov. 2, and changed the course of aviation innovation forever. In celebration of its milestone and the 40th anniversary of Microsoft Flight Simulator, anyone in the world will now be able to fly the American icon.

“Humanity’s most significant advancements have occurred when ingenuity meets unstoppable determination,” said Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum CEO Tyson Weinert. “The Spruce Goose introduced cutting-edge technology in 1947 that has touched almost every aspect of flight history since its creation. The museum is dedicated to honoring the Spruce Goose’s legacy by preserving the aircraft and its story to inspire continued curiosity, discovery, and innovation.”

First conceived during World War II to move troops and materials across the Atlantic Ocean, business magnate, film producer, and aviation pioneer Howard Hughes took on the task of constructing the massive flying boat. On Wednesday, Nov. 2, Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum, located in McMinnville, Oregon, will celebrate the historic milestone commemorating the moment Hughes surprised the world as the prototype lifted off the water and flew. Activities will include remarks from special guests starting at 1:30 p.m.; a communication from the Howard Hughes Club in Culver City, Cal.; tours of the Spruce Goose; Howard Hughes Archive items on display; and educational documentaries showing at the Evergreen Theater. Then, on Nov. 5, the museum will hold a private gala to raise funds for an updated exhibit focusing on the untold stories surrounding the Spruce Goose, cementing the aviation icon’s place in history, and continuing its legacy of sparking a passion for innovation, aviation, and discovery. And finally, on Friday, Nov. 11, two cutting-edge technologies converge with the release of the much-anticipated Microsoft Flight Simulator 40th Anniversary Edition, empowering the Spruce Goose to fly again.

“For four decades, Microsoft Flight Simulator has been extending the joy of flight to people around the world, enabling awe-inspiring experiences with incredible realism,” said Jorg Neumann, head of Microsoft Flight Simulator. “This one-of-a-kind plane is one of a dozen famous aircraft that will be added to Microsoft Flight Simulator 40th Anniversary Edition, allowing anyone, anywhere the ability to fly this icon of aviation history.”