Okay, this may only be read here by a few, and I just can’t stand it any more. Thirty plus-Decades ago, I read a lot about Howard Robard Hughes and the people that were his most trusted associates.
I also learned a little about this B-25C which many believe was owned and operated by the brilliant Howard Robard Hughes.
Howard Hughes never entered the plane, he never flew the plane.
The only time he actually may have even seen the plane was when he was taxing out in a Boeing jet he was “test flying” in the hopes of Boeing that he would buy a fleet of new Boeing jets back in the day..
Howard Hughes owned the B-25, since he owned the Hughes Tool Company and his money bought the Mitchell, which owned another B-25, which was NL75831 (subsequently N2825B) which was being phased out of service by the Hughes corporation.
N3968C was to be the VIP transport aircraft for Mr. Noah Dietrich who was a brilliant man in his own right, and actually saved Howard Hughes’ butt many times. Mr. Dietrich was the right hand man, the bag man, for Howard Hughes; in fact Mr. Dietrich was the Director-Vice President of the Hughes Tool Company, Director-Chairman of the Board of the Executive Committee of TWA, Chairman of the Board of RKO Pictures, and the Director of Hughes Aircraft. He was trusted by Hughes and carried out the written and telephonic requests of Hughes. Mr. Dietrich was a Company man, believed in and trusted Hughes, who believed in and trusted Noah Dietrich. Mr. Dietrich decided one day, that he needed a later model VIP transport. Without running the purchase of this B-25C by Howard Hughes, Mr. Dietrich bought the plane and had it delivered for refit to VIP configuration. Hughes subsequently saw a bill regarding the B-25Cs new interior, and was told that Mr. Dietrich had authorized the refurbishment of the plane. Hughes went ballistic and blew a couple of jugs because he had not “authorized” a project of which he had no control over. Hughes was a control freak (among other mental disorders). He order his chief mechanic to take the plane the strip where he had his other planes parked (which had to be moved regularly and turned into the wind), and grounded in Culver City, which is where it set until acquired by Antelope Valley Air Museum of Lancaster.
Hughes began to wrongfully distrust Dietrich, and eventually forced him from the company. Hughes was known to favor the Lockheed Loadstar. The Boston Havoc also owned by the Hughes Corporation (also acquired by the Antelope Valley Air Museum), was actually flown by Hughes, but very rarely. The B-25C N3968C was to be the VIP transport of Mr. Noah Dietrich, the Chief Executive Officer of the Hughes empire, but never pressed into service by the corporation.
I’m done now.
Also, thought I'd throw this in fyi Ron Kistler from his book “I Caught Flies for Howard Hughes”, who was Howard Hughes's security guard/valet/confidante for a number of years. This book does not discuss any of Hughes's business dealings, only his strange lifestyle. There are dozens of hilarious incidents that the author relates. Hughes was already several years into his self-imposed isolation when his organization hired Kistler.
Kistler's first assignment was a harbinger of weirdness’s to come: he had to drive to an airport and watch over an airplane that hadn't moved in ten years. The guard he was to relieve wasn't there to brief him, and as it turned out usually didn't bother to show up anyway. The aircraft itself was corroding, the engines had long since lost their oil, the interior curtains had rotted, and the tires had rotted and had collapsed. The aircraft was simply non-airworthy.
Okay, now I'm done.
Last edited by gary1954
on Mon Dec 13, 2010 2:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.