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The multi-millionaire founded the Hughes Aircraft Company which played a critical role development of a great many aviation technologies. The movie also shows his interest in flying boats and his design for the Spruce Goose, the largest seaplane of all time.<ref>Barlett, p 245</ref> Scorsese captures the importance of aviation in the life of Hughes and his contribution to the history of flight. Many have praised the movie for reminding the world that the subject of the biopic was a significant figure in the history of aviation.
==Hughes and his mental health==
In one of the opening scenes of the movie the young Hughes is being bathed by his mother, and she is cautioning him of the many dangers that he faced in the world and warning him especially against dirt. Hughes is portrayed as a rather eccentric character even in his heyday as an aviator and Hollywood mogul. The director and the script indicated that Hughes eccentric behaviour was a result of his upbringing and his growing mental instability that is apparent by the end of the movie. One theory is that Hughes problems was a result of syphilis, which was a sexually transmitted disease, and which often led to serous mental health issues. Many have rejected this theory. It does seem that Hughes did have OCD and was obsessed with dirt and cleanliness. This is shown very well when some government agents raided his Hollywood home and Hughes is panicked by the idea that they are bringing germs into his home. His OCD became worse as it was untreated, and he also became dependent on painkillers after his various crashes. Scorsese’s movie does represent the variety of mental health issues that Hughes experienced but not their complex origins and causes. The 2004 motion picture was heavily criticised for not referencing the long physical and mental decline of Hughes. In later life he became a recluse in Las Vega and lived in appalling conditions and he only had his hair and nails cut once a year <ref> Meneghetti, Michael. "Feeling Yourself Disintegrate: The Aviator as History." Canadian Journal of Film Studies 20, no. 1 (2011): 2-19 </ref>. The man who was one of the richest men in America became petrified of germs. However, Scorsese does refer to Hughes' future mental deterioration in the final scene when the Texan has a breakdown after seeing two men in germ-suits.
[[File: Hughes One.jpg|200px|thumb|left| Howard Hughes c1940]]