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Boeing
Pacific Aero Products Corporation


Founded 15 July 1916 by William E. Boeing as Pacific Aero Products Corporation.

The first product, B & W Seaplane of 1916, was designed by William Boeing in conjunction with Conrad Westervelt. First production order was for Model C seaplane trainer for U.S. Navy (first flown 1916), followed by Model EA land trainer of 1916 for U.S. Army.

Name changed to Boeing Airplane Company April 26,1917.

Improved Model C of 1918 was first mass-produced Boeing aircraft, built alongside Boeing-constructed Curtiss HS-2L flying-boats. First post-First World War design was the B-1 three-seat flying-boat (first flown December 1919), while in 1920 the first flight took place of the first of many Boeing-built DH-4s (based on British Airco D.H.4). Built ten U.S. Army-designed GA-1 armored ground attack triplanes (first flown May 1921) but just two GA-2s, followed by 200 Thomas-Morse MB- 3A pursuit aircraft (first flown 1922). The Boeing company has contracted with Thomas Morse to build the MB-3 fighter. With this experience Boeing undertook the development of their own PW-9 pursuit aircraft.

Bid successfully for the San-Francisco-Chicago airmail route in 1927 and formed subsidiary Boeing Air Transport to operate the route. In 1928, Boeing Airplane and Transportation Corporation went public and the stock sold quickly.

As other airlines were acquired, this became Boeing AirTransport System. Merged with Pratt & Whitney, Standard Steel Propeller Co, and two small aircraft manufacturers to form United Aircraft & Transport Corporation in 1929. All continued to operate under original identities. Encouraged, Boeing formed the United Aircraft and Transport Corporation, which included Boeing Airplane Company, Pratt & Whitney, Chance Vought, Sikorsky, Hamilton Propeller, Pacific Air Transport.

First real success with own design military aircraft came in 1923, with the PW-9/FB-1 series, which had a fabric-covered welded-steel-tube fuselage. Other aircraft followed in quick succession, types of particular note including the Boeing Model 40, designed for carriage of airmail plus two (and later four) passengers, used by new Boeing Air Transport. Model 80 12-passenger transports with three Pratt & Whitney Wasp engines introduced by Boeing Air Transport in 1928. World's first airline stewardesses introduced on these aircraft 1930.

In 1929 Lloyd Stearman sold his Stearman Aircraft Company to the 'United Aircraft and Transport Corporation'.

Model 80A with more powerful Hornet engines and seats for 18 passengers followed. Biggest military order to that date (other than MB-3As) came in 1931, when U.S. Army ordered 135 P-12E single-seat fighters, and U.S. Navy 113 of the similar F4B-3: total of 586 aircraft in this series built by 1933 (prototype Model 83 for P-12 series had flown June 1928). Boeing Model 200 Monomail, mail/cargo aircraft, first flew May 1930; revolutionary aircraft with cantilever allmetal monoplane wing, retractable main landing gear and a specially designed antidrag cowling for its single Hornet engine. A second Monomail, Model 221, had six-seat passenger cabin. Military development of this aircraft resulted in YB-9 bomber (first flown April 1931), forcing evolution of new fighter types. Boeing produced P-26 single-seat all-metal monoplane fighter (first flown March 1932), of which 136 bought by U.S. Army. Biggest step forward came with the Model 247 (first flown February 1933), most advanced conception of a transport aircraft anywhere in the world at that time. Introduced wing and tail unit leading-edge de-icing, control surface trim tabs and, in production aircraft, controllable-pitch propellers and autopilot. It was the first twin-engined monoplane transport that could climb with a full load on the power of one engine.

In 1934 legislation prevented aircraft and engine manufacturers from operating airlines. Boeing resigned as chairman, sold out his stock and the corporation was divided into three new companies in September 1934 - United Air Lines to handle air transport, United Aircraft Corporation to take over the eastern manufacturing firms and Boeing Airplane Company to manage Western operations, together with Stearman, a wholly owned subsidiary. The name Boeing Airplane Company was readopted in 1948. In May 1961, following acquisition of Vertol in 1960, became known as The Boeing Company, which remained the name in 1999.

Changes in the company structure took place in 1996, when on December 15 it was announced that a merger had been agreed with McDonnell Douglas. The two large organizations began operating as a single company from August 4,1997, under the Boeing name. Also in December 1996 Boeing purchased Rockwell International's aerospace and defense units, these being retitled Boeing North American Inc. and subsequently becoming part of Boeing's Space Systems business unit. Several internal restructures of the Boeing organization followed, the set-up comprising three main groups, namely, Information, Space, and Defense systems Group (ISDS), Boeing Commercial Airplane Group (BCAG), and Boeing Shared Services Group; the latter for information management and computing resources. Within ISDS are various business units comprising Aircraft and Missile Systems (to undertake Boeing's military airplane and helicopter programs, plus oversee tactical missile development), Boeing Space Systems (to oversee Boeing's space programs for DoD and NASA), Information and Communication Systems (programs include AWACS surveillance systems, communications systems and more), Phantom Works (a previous McDonnell Douglas unit for advanced research and development, with programs including research into hypersonic aircraft), and Business Resources. BCAG is headquartered at Renton but has units in various other locations. This group comprises Customer Services, Douglas Products Division (for manufacturing airliners that originated from McDonnell Douglas, such as the MD-80, MD-90, MD-11, and B717), Engineering Division, Fabrication Division (constructing components), Materiel Division (made responsible for materials and subcontracted components), Propulsion Systems Division (engine preparation for airliners), 737/757 Programs, 747/767 Programs, 777 Program, and Wichita Division (components and subassemblies).
Significant military aircraft since the early 1930s have included the B-17 Flying Fortress bomber (first flown July 1935), of which 12,731 examples were built; B-29 Superfortress bomber (first flown September 1942); B-47 Stratojet medium jet bomber (first flown December 1947); B-52 Stratofortress intercontinental strategic bomber (first flown April 1952); E-4 National Airborne Operations Center aircraft (first flown June 1973); E-3 Sentry airborne early warning and control system aircraft (delivered from March 1977); E-6 Mercury survivable airborne communications system aircraft for the U.S. Navy (first flown February 1987); and EC-18 advanced range instrumentation and cruise missile control aircraft. The B-52H Stratofortress continues to form a major component of the USAF, and proposals were made in 1998 to re-engine 71 examples of this eight-engined bomber with four very powerful Rolls- Royce RB211-535E-4 turbofans each. Continuing military programs in 1999 include work in developing the AL-1A Airborne Laser aircraft based on the Model 747 Freighter; development of Boeing's contender for the Joint Strike Fighter program to produce a multipurpose combat aircraft with CTOL/STOVL flight characteristics to replace a range of present warplanes from about the year 2008; new AWACS aircraft for export based on 737 and 767 airframes (first flight of an E-767 AWACS with structural AWACS features for Japan, August 1996); and production of the F-15 Eagle, F/A-18 Hornet and Super Hornet, Harrier II and II Plus, and T-45 Goshawk (all ex-McDonnell Douglas).

Aircraft which have made important contributions to global air transport, in addition to those previously mentioned, include the Model 314 flying-boat (first flown June 1938); Model 307 Stratoliner with pressurization (first flown December 1938); Model 377 Stratocruiser (first flown November 1944 as XC-97 military transport); Model 367-80 turbojet transport (first flown July 1954) which was put into production as a military tanker-transport for the USAF as the KC-135 Stratotanker and as the Model 707 commercial airliner; Model 727 tri-jet short/medium-range airliner (first flown February 1963); Model 737 twinturbofan short-range airliner (first flown April 1967 and still in production in 1999 in advanced and Next Generation versions, with development continuing and over 4,000 sold); Model 747 four-jet wide-body high-capacity airliner (first flown February 1969 and given the press nickname "Jumbo Jet"; still in production in 1999 in latest 747-400 series versions, with new versions under development); Model 757 twin-jet medium-range airliner (first flown February 1982); Model 767 twin-jet wide-body medium/longrange airliner (first flown September 1981); and Model 777 twin-jet wide-body long-range airliner.

Since the merger with McDonnell Douglas, the Boeing aircraft range also includes the Model 717 (first flown 1998; formerly the McDonnell Douglas MD- 95), C-17A Globemaster III military heavy-lift and longrange transport (first flown September 1991; commercial version proposed as the MD-17); MD-11 medium/long-range tri-jet airliner (first flown January 1990); MD-80 twin-jet short/medium-range airliner (first flown October 1979 as follow-on to similar but older DC-9); MD-90 twin-jet medium-range airliner (first flown February 1993 as longer and advanced development of MD-80); F-15 Eagle; F/A- 18 Hornet and Super Hornet; Harrier II and II Plus; T-45 Goshawk; and various helicopters. Since taking over Rockwell International's aerospace and defense units, the B-1B Lancer long-range variable-geometry strategic bomber is technically also a Boeing type, although production of 100 ended in 1988.

Since the merger of Boeing and McDonnell Douglas, Boeing's helicopter range has grown. However, Boeing took the strategic decision to concentrate on military helicopter programs and sold its 49% share in the Model 609 civil tilt-rotor transport to its development partner Bell Helicopter Textron (now called BA 609; the MD 500/520/530/Defender and MD 600N helicopter ranges thereafter (plus MD 900/902 Explorer/Combat Explorer not selected by Bell) remained for sale elsewhere, some using the unique NOTAR antitorque system.

Boeing has sold its civil helicopter production line, formerly manufactured by McDonnell Douglas, to Dutch company MD Helicopters on 19 February 1999. The sale, coming only two years after Boeing themselves purchased the range through a merger. The sale includes the MD500E, 520N, 530F and 600N models, as well as the twin-engined MD Explorer and the licence to incorporate the no tail rotor (NOTAR) system on future aircraft. Boeing does, however, keep the ownership of the NOTAR technology. Boeing continued to produce the machines, under contract to the new Dutch owners, until early 2000.

However, Boeing continued its partnership with Bell over development and production of the V-22 Osprey military tilt-rotor transport and multipurpose aircraft for the U.S. forces (first flown March 1989). Not for sale was the inherited AH-64 Apache attack helicopter, produced also in the U.K. in AH-64D Apache Longbow form. Boeing's own H-47 Chinook continued in production, and Boeing remained partnered with Sikorsky in the development of the RAH-66 Comanche multirole battlefield helicopter for the U.S. Army (first flown January 1996).

 

Boeing enhanced its space prowess through the merger in 1997 with McDonnell Douglas and the acquisition the year before of the defense and space units of Rockwell International.

In 1998 Boeing was under contract to the United Space Alliance for shuttle orbiter production, modifications and operations, and for overall shuttle system and payload integration services, with additional responsibility for launch and mission support.

In 1999 Boeing operations were located in 27 states, and the company had employees in more than 60 countries. The company was organized into three major business segments: Boeing Commercial Airptane Group, Military Aircraft and, Missile Systems Group, and Space and Communications Group.

 

 

 


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