The story of Howard Hughes allows him to portray the businessman as visionary and creative, even heroic. Hughes was, of course, heroic in a conventional Hollywood sense. As a pioneer in aviation and, specifically, a daring aviator himself, often serving as the test pilot for his own innovative planes and setting speed and distance records, he was obviously courageous in the way in which the traditional Hollywood hero normally is. With the title of The Aviator, one could imagine Scorsese's film assimilating Hughes to conventional Hollywood models of the heroic aviation pioneer, from Charles Lindbergh to Amelia Earhart to John Glenn. Hughes did have the right stuff. But, although the heroic aviator archetype is integral to Scorsese's portrayal of Hughes, the movie reveals much more than his raw courage in an airplane.