This mighty company, founded by William E. Boeing, evolved from the humble Pacific Aero Products Company and became the Boeing Airplane Company in 1917. Boeing's eighty year history spans decades of rich achievement and technological development, first with the manufacture of sea-planes, then fighters and, from the 1930's onwards, huge bombers, innovative transports and finally, gigantic airliners, missiles, rockets and vehicles from moon exploration. Yet just after the First World War, Boeing only survived by accepting orders for the manufacture of sea-sled boats,canoes, and furniture, by rebuilding 354 Liberty-engined de Havilland DH-4s and acting as a sub-contractor for other companies' military designs. Boeing improved them and built better models.
The Model 248, which appeared in 1932, was the first all metal monoplane fighter and later Boeing entered the market for, and became the leading supplier of, new air transports which in turn led to the emergence of the B-17 "Flying Fortress" bomber and its successor the B-29. Huge numbers of these war-winning aircraft were built by Boeing During the war years.
In the 1940s Boeing led the field for large jet bombers and transports beginning with the B-47 swept-wing six-jet strike bomber in 1947, followed by the eight-jet B-52 Stratofortresss. Superiority in the military aircraft business was further confirmed with the introduction of propeller-driven C-97s which, in turn, led the company into the lucrative airline business. Boeing set out to develop an entirely new jet transport and in 1954 the innovative 707 appeared. The 727 and 737 airliners quickly followed and then in 1969 came the revolutionary 747. By 1975 the "Jumbo Jet" was being produced in seven different models and new versions continue to be developed to this day. The introduction of its most recent member, the 777, further enhances Boeing's dominance of the commercial aircraft sector.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. Diversity through Adversity
2. In Pursuit of Perfection
3. Big Ass Birds
OTHER TITLES IN THIS SERIES
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