Howard Hughes, the eccentric millionaire, developed the H-1 Racer
which broke the world landplane speed record the same year. Hughes
Aircraft designed and developed several prototypes (including
the H-4 Hercules flying boat) until the breakthrough Model 200
helicopter of 1957.
In the 1950s, Hughes Aircraft changed its focus to
radar, avionics and missile systems...and helicopters. The helicopter business
became its own division in 1972.
Aircraft is formed as a division of Hughes Tool Co.
1972: Hughes Tool is reorganized as the
Summa Corp. and Hughes Helicopter is organized as a new
1984: The Helicopter Division is sold to McDonnell-Douglas.
1985: Hughes Aircraft is sold to General
1990s: General Motors sells off the various
businesses of Hughes Aircraft.