MCMINNVILLE, Ore. (AP) — Delford Smith, an aviation entrepreneur who in the 1990s had Howard Hughes’ gigantic “Spruce Goose” airplane trucked in pieces to Oregon to be the centerpiece of an aviation museum, has died at age 84.
A spokesman for Macy and Son Funeral Directors in McMinnville confirms that Smith died Friday at his home.
No cause of death was disclosed.
In 1960, Smith founded Evergreen International Aviation, which in its glory days flew cargo and charter flights around the world for the U.S. military and other clients.
Facing major business challenges and lawsuits from creditors, Smith closed the airline last year.
The Yamhill Valley News-Register initially reported Smith’s death.