Glenn Odekirk - Premier Aeronautic Mechanic

Glenn Odekirk - Premier Aeronautic Mechanic American History Aviation & Space Exploration STEM Tragedies and Triumphs Visual Arts

Historians tell us that Howard Hughes would not have had such a successful aviation career without his chief mechanic, Glenn Odekirk.  A 1927 graduate of Oregon State University, he played a key role in the development of the "Spruce Goose."

The OSU Alumni Association provides this information about Odekirk:

Odekirk during the 1930s and through World War II was the assistant to the president of Hughes Aircraft and had a very close, professional relationship with the man who was president, millionaire eccentric Howard Hughes. For several years, the two flew around the country together, testing the young OSU engineer's ideas and arguing constantly over the most trivial matters of airplane construction. It was Odekirk who carefully examined airplane after airplane during the 1930s to find the one Hughes eventually used to set his record-breaking round-the-globe flight of 91 hours.

A plane Odekirk helped design during 1935 known to historians as the H-1 set a world speed record of 352.39 miles per hour in September of that year, beating Raymond Delmotte's (of France) record of 314.32 miles per hour. The plane was revolutionary for its time and was one of the first planes in history to sport retractable landing gear and special counterstruck screws and flat rivets to reduce wind resistance.

Odekirk's most famous project was the work he contributed to the legendary Spruce Goose and was aboard when Hughes piloted the plane on its one and only flight on September 2, 1947.


Media Credits

Photo, online courtesy Oregon State University Alumni Association.   PD

Information, quoted above, courtesy Oregon State University Alumni Association.


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"Glenn Odekirk - Premier Aeronautic Mechanic" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 07, 2013. Nov 20, 2017.
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