Capturing the world through photography, video and multimedia

Spruce Goose's innards

Spruce Goose’s innards

March 3, 1980: A view of the wood structure inside the Spruce Goose from center to the hull tail section. The photo was taken during the first public viewing of the aircraft in more than 20 years. The Spruce Goose was moved to Long Beach and placed on display in a large dome next to the Queen Mary.

Former Los Angeles Times staff photographer Ken Hively photographed the Spruce Goose several times, including this 1980 public viewing.

“I was lucky to go inside the cockpit and walk through the entire plane to the back where the whole plane had this exposed bare wood throughout,” he says.

Hively pushed his Tri-X 35mm black and white film to 3200 ASA. “The light,” he says, “was God-awful, but it didn’t matter, in those days you could take any picture in black and white and make it work.”

In 1993, the Spruce Goose was moved to Oregon.


  1. November 12, 2010, 7:42 am

    This photograph is another stunning image from Mr. Hively's long career preserving life in Los Angeles. He never misses the obvious or the subtle. The photographer ahead of Ken is an important element in the composition as it gives scale to the gigantic aircraft fuselage. In addition it's a look back at how newspaper photographers equipped themselves 30 years ago: a canvas shoulder bag, probably a "Domke bag" full of lenses, a small tripod in hand that was sturdy enough to hold a film camera steady. Now, in the age of heavy battery- laden digital cameras, auto-focus lenses and laptops, the photojournalist's gear is a back-breaker.

  2. November 12, 2010, 12:25 pm

    In these days with most over $ 800 cameras you can take a decent B&W picture also. Color is where most digital cameras fail in low light.

    By: sid penance

Add a comment or a question.

If you are under 13 years of age you may read this message board, but you may not participate. Here are the full legal terms you agree to by using this comment form.

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until they've been approved.


Required, will not be published

Browse All Photos »