- Continuity: When Howard Hughes attempts to set the flying speed record, close-up shots
of Hughes and the aircraft while flying show an open cockpit, but distant shots in the same sequence show a closed cockpit.
- Anachronisms: At least one of the Fokker biplanes shown rolling for takeoff in the Hell's Angels (1930) scenes had a modern opposed cylinder engine.
- Continuity: When Howard and Faith are at the nightclub, they share a chocolate sundae. The scene begins with a continuity issue
involving Faith's spoon. As the sundae itself melts and re-freezes, the cherry jumps from the top to the side and back to the top with fresher fudge.
Also, at one point, Faith is shown with her arm raised, eating, but, in the very next shot, her arm is on her lap.
- Anachronisms: The grounded TWA Constellation airliners shown are "Super G Constellations" with wing-tip fuel tanks, a model
that did not fly until 1951. TWA would still be flying regular "Constellations" in 1946, when the scene was supposed to have taken place, as all
Lockheed Constellations were grounded from July 12 until August 23, 1946.
- Anachronisms: In the early scene when Hughes takes Hepburn on a flight over LA, the first aerial shots briefly show a couple of
obviously modern buildings as well as part of a freeway.
- Anachronisms: The first time we see Pan-Am's headquarters, a close-up of the upper portion of the Chrysler Building shows several
cellular telephone antennae.
- Continuity: The posters outside the viewing room where Howard locks himself change when he leaves. Before he leaves, the Scarface (1932) poster is on the left and the Hell's Angels
(1930) poster is on the right, but by the time he's gone they have switched.
- Continuity: When the model of the Hercules is brought out to promote the plane's construction, the propellers are turning in the
wide shots, but not in the close-ups.
- Anachronisms: In 1928, Hughes orders "10 chocolate chip cookies" - which were not invented until 1933.
- Continuity: During the brawl in the nightclub, the violin player is standing/sitting between shots.
- Audio/visual unsynchronized: In the first scene in the Coconut Grove, the man singing on stage clearly has his mouth closed while the
music track is still singing a verse.
- Continuity: As Hughes steps out of his plane just before meeting Hepburn on the beach and he buttons his coat, his tie is outside the
coat. In the next shot of Hughes, the tie is tucked in under the buttoned coat.
- Anachronisms: In the Pantages Theatre premiere sequence, posters for The Women, a mid-1939 release, are quite visible. On the soundtrack
we hear an announcer praising the newly discovered Ava Gardner. Ava Gardner did not enter films until 1941.
- Anachronisms: Clocks in the background in late 1944/early 1945 (as indicated by the line about Harry S. Truman) indicate Honolulu being
full hours different from other time zones. Hawaii was half an hour off from time zones on the American mainland until 1947.
- Revealing mistakes: In a shot with the Hercules aircraft in the background, a painter is seen applying paint to the nose-area of the
aircraft with a paint roller. The roller passes past the section that he is supposed to be painting.
- Anachronisms: Howard Hughes refers to the Lockheed "F-80" when he's talking to Noah and Odie about working with jet
engines. Since this conversation took place the same day as the flight of the Spruce Goose, 2 November 1947, then he should have called it the
"P-80", as the Air Force did not discard the "Pursuit" designation until 1948.
- Miscellaneous: In the closing credits, Kenneth Welsh's name is misspelled. It appears as Kenneth Walsh
- Continuity: When Howard is lying in the hospital bed, the pillow changes positions between shots.
- Continuity: The overhead shot of the H-1 just before Hughes takes it off for its test flight show the airplane with its short wings
(used for setting pure speed records), whereas the in-flight shots portray the airplane with its long wings (used for cross-country races and setting
- Continuity: When Hughes is checking the control panel mock-ups for the Hercules, his hands are on/off the controls between shots.
- Revealing mistakes: When Hughes is staring at his hands in the projection room he raises them to be illuminated by the light of the
projector in a close-up, but in the subsequent long shot, although his hands are still in the light, there are no shadows of the hands on the screen.
- Anachronisms: When the Spruce Goose first gets airborne, two members of the crew stationed behind the cockpit can be seen briefly
exchanging a high five.
- Anachronisms: When Howard is in the hospital, Trippe sends a flower arrangement that contains Gerber Daisies. Gerber Daisies are a
hybrid and were not bred until after the 1950s.
- Anachronisms: Near the end of the film, when Hughes and others are in the tent beside the Spruce Goose, the ceiling fans are of a modern
style not invented in the 1950s.
- Anachronisms: There are references to both Ava Gardner and Linda Darnell well before either became a movie actress.
- Anachronisms: When the Lockheed executives are discussing the Constellation deal, the insignia on the XF-11 is of the post-1947 US Air
Force type (a red bar in the center of the white bars). In conversation with the Lockheed executives, a statement was made about Truman being vice president,
place the date of the conversation before the death of FDR (April 1945), making this insignia incorrect.
- Continuity: At the premiere screening of Hell's Angels, in the first wide shot after the film ends, Dietrich is seen to be one of
the first to applaud, but on the close up of him, he is shown as being hesitant and watching others to see if they start applauding.
- Continuity: In the first scene where they are filming "Hell's Angels", Hughes puts his hand up in the air in a close-up,
but then it's down by his side when they cut to the wide shot.
- Continuity: In the restaurant scene with the indoor snowfall, snowflakes on Howard's shoulders appear and disappear between shots.
- Continuity: When Howard does his first (and last) flight with the Xf-11, you can see a very wide runway from the cockpit view before
takeoff. But from the outside view (probably made with 3d studio) you can see a narrow runway.
- Continuity: In the first test flight speed test, the cockpit of the aircraft is open, except for the windshield. As the aircraft flies
by, there is a glass enclosure over the cockpit. In the next shot, the cockpit glass is gone.
- Anachronisms: Whilst Katherine Hepburn and Howard Hughes are dining in the Coconut Grove, she states "Haven't you heard I'm
being labeled box office poison..." At this point in "The Aviator" it is 1935. Katherine and a list of other stars including Mae West and Joan
Crawford were not listed as box office poison until 1938 by a board of film distributors.
- Continuity: When Hughes is dining with Senator Brewster in the hotel, he stands and buttons his coat. In the next shot, it is unbuttoned
- Continuity: When Hughes leaves the hotel room after his dinner with the senator, he is wearing a different color suit.
- Boom mic visible: When Howard is in the hospital after his plane crash, a boom mike is visible on the door.
- Anachronisms: When in the Coconut Grove, an assistant tells Hughes that all the color cameras in Hollywood are being loaned to Cecil B.
DeMille at Paramount so he can't have additional cameras for "Hell's Angels". DeMille left Paramount in 1925 to establish his own studio
where he remained until 1928 when he joined MGM. He didn't return to Paramount until 1932 for "Sign of the Cross". The color cameras referenced
in "Aviator" would have been for the color sequences in "King of Kings" a 1927 film made by DeMille for Pathe-DeMille, the name of his
studio during the "Hell's Angels" filming.
- Continuity: In the frontal shot of the Hercules, the pilot's and copilot's cockpit windows are open. The next shot is from the
side of the Hercules and the windows are closed.
- Revealing mistakes: During the filming of "Hell's Angels", as one of the SE5a scout biplanes taxis past, the fact that it
is a reduced-scale replica is obvious due to the oversize pilot's head. Also, same shot, you can see his modern microphone attached to the helmet.
- Continuity: When Howard rolls out the "Spruce Goose" at the dinner party, the plane's eight engines are shown with
propellers spinning, then seen from a different angle they are not spinning, and then back to a head-on shot they are spinning again.
- Continuity: In the Cocoanut Grove when we first see Errol Flynn, the waiter brings out Howard's "usual", which includes 12
peas. The first shot of the dinner plate shows 12 peas. The shot of the dinner plate after Jude Law steals a pea still shows 12 peas. The amount of peas does
not change until the third shot of the dinner plate showing that there are now 10 peas.
- Continuity: When Faith Domergue crashes her car into Howard and Ava Gardner's car, even after two crashes there is no significant
damage seen on either car.
- Revealing mistakes: During the test flight of the Hughes H-1 racer, as Hughes pulls the plane up over the runway, a shadow on the ground
reveals a plane with fixed undercarriage - the H-1 had retractable landing gear.
- Continuity: When Howard is washing his hands at the Coconut Grove, the one where he cuts his finger, the overhead shots of his scrubbing
his hands vigorously has inconsistencies in the splashes on the sink: first spotted with dirty splashes, then no splashes on the sink and then lightly
spotted with dirty splashes.
- Miscellaneous: When Hughes is starting up the Hercules for its first flight, he asks for the speed, which is given to him in miles per
hour. Both air and water speed are measured in knots. The gauge on the control board is at the correct number of mph given (about 70), but is the label reads
knots per hour, which would not be equivalent to the mph.
- Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): When first in the coconut grove, Howard orders a "milk
with the cap still on". When Howard receives the milk there is no cap on it.
- Factual errors: Glenn Odekirk ("Odie") was not aboard the Hercules on her maiden flight because Hughes wanted no doubts that
he had been at the controls.
- Anachronisms: In the Cocoanut Grove Errol Flynn is portrayed as an established (and very successful) movie star. The scene is set prior
to September 13, 1935 (the date given in a scene soon thereafter), but Flynn was virtually unknown until "Captain Blood," which was released in
December of that year.