Boeing Company

Boeing Company

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As one of many success stories of the early 1900s in America, the Boeing Company grew from a hobbyist’s vision to an industry leader in aircraft manufacturing.

The early years

Born in Detroit in 1881, William Edward Boeing graduated from Yale University in 1904. The young man then went west to enter the lumbering business.

At that point, he observed what was happening in Kitty Hawk and became interested in flight as a means of transportation.

Boeing began to fly in 1911 under the tutelage of Glenn L. Martin, who would later found an airplane manufacturing company of his own.

Martin developed the B-10 bomber series, including the 123, 139, and 166 models, which set the standard in the 1920s. The company also developed a streamlined monocoque fuselage, variable-pitch propellers, metal wings with lift-enhancing flaps, and retractable landing gear.

From hobby to business partnership

Boeing teamed up with U.S. Navy Lieutenant George C. Westervelt in 1914 to build the Bluebell seaplane, better known as the B&W. When Westervelt was transferred to Washington, D.C., Boeing completed the plane and took it on its maiden flight in June 1916.

One month later, Boeing set in motion the beginnings of an industry behemoth by creating the Pacific Aero Products Company. One year later, he renamed the venture Boeing Airplane Company.

One of Boeing’s key early hires was Tsu Wong, one of the country’s few aeronautical engineers. As the U.S. entered World War I, Wong developed the Model C training seaplane for the Navy. Boeing built 56 Model Cs with 55 going to the Navy and one to Bill Boeing, who called his personal aircraft the C-700. Boeing also hired Claire Egtvedt and Phil Johnson, who would become Boeing company presidents.

Post-World War I

After 1918, orders for more aircraft ceased. As the fledgling company struggled to survive, they built such furniture as dressers and counters, as well as “sea sleds,” or flat-bottomed, sea-going boats, from leftover wood stocks.

In early 1919, Boeing and Eddie Hubbard, the pilot, carried 60 letters in the C-700 from Vancouver, B.C., to Seattle, Washington, thereby delivering the first international airmail.

Fighters, air mail, and passenger planes

In a race with Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company in 1923 to produce the best pursuit fighter, Boeing settled for second place. Six months later, however, Boeing debuted the Model 15. The aircraft so pleased the U.S. Army that they ordered nearly 600 of them.Boeing's entry into the air-mail industry was the Model 40 in 1923. By 1927, Boeing's Model 40A, now powered by a lighter air-cooled engine, won a contract to carry mail between Chicago, Illinois, and San Francisco, California. Owing to government regulations, a new company had to be set up to run the new airline, calling it Boeing Air Transport (BAT).

During its first year of service, BAT carried more than 800,000 pounds of mail, about 150,000 pounds of express packages, and nearly 2,000 passengers.

That stimulated the idea of a 12-passenger, three-engine Model 80, Boeing’s first biplane built specifically for passengers, which debuted in 1929. It was later upgraded to the Model 80A, an 18-passenger aircraft.

Before Charles A. Lindberg crossed the Atlantic in 1927, there had been little interest in passenger service by the airlines — only 5,800 passengers had flown in 1926. Four years later, however, the total had soared to more than 400,000 passengers.

Postmaster General Walter F. Brown wanted to encourage the trend. He disliked the Kelly Act, which provided subsidies of $3 per pound. Some gold-digging airlines were making good money by sending cast-iron stoves as airmail. Brown wanted the airlines to put more energy into developing the passenger side of air service.McNary-Watres Act

The McNary-Watres Act, also known as the Air Mail Act (1930), gave Brown the power to award air-mail contracts to stronger, more-organized airlines.Boeing’s place in the air mail industry

In order for airlines to capitalize on government air mail contracts, they needed larger, faster aircraft.

Air mail became a big revenue source for the fledgling plane builders, including the Donald Douglas company and Martin Aircraft. The railroads considered this to be a threat to their own revenue stream and lobbied for privatization of airmail without government interference (no subsidies).

The Kelly Act of 1925 helped to create the air transport industry by turning the new airlines into privately owned businesses, but regulated by the federal government.

By 1929, under the umbrella firm of United Aircraft and Transportation Company, Boeing enlarged its interests to include the Stearman Aircraft Company in Wichita, which manufactured engines and propellers. It also delivered mail, maintained airports, ran airlines, and trained pilots and mechanics at the Boeing School of Aeronautics.

Enter the monoplane

Biplanes were destined for museum status when, in 1930, Boeing introduced itsline of monoplanes — the mail- and cargo-carrying "Monomail" and the company'sfirst single-winged fighter, the XP-9, the predecessor to the P-26 "Peashooter," which flew 27 mph faster than any of Boeing's bi-winged models.

The Monomail design was destined to become the precursor to the Model 247 airliner, and became a mainstay of United Airlines in 1933.

The 247's design was so successful that its sleek exterior was adapted to produce Boeing's first monoplane bomber, the B-9, which was shaped like a cigar and given the moniker, "Flying Panatela."

The big shakeup

Antitrust legislation following the Depression denied airframe manufacturers the ability to control air mail operators. Boeing was forced to reorganize into several smaller entities, including an air-transportation unit (UAL), an east-coast manufacturing operation (United Aircraft, and later United Technologies), and the west-coast operation of Boeing Airplane Company, of which Stearman and Boeing Aircraft of Canada were already a part.

Those events disheartened William Boeing, who resigned his chairmanship and retired to raise horses. He would later return to help during World War II.

The Egtvedt Era

Claire Egtvedt, the longtime Boeing employee and new company president in 1933, took the company reins and envisioned a future of large passenger airplanes and new-age bombers. In 1934, the U.S. Army Corps was in the market for a heavy, long-range bomber. Boeing’s answer was the B-17 “Flying Fortress" with four engines and a wingspan of 149 feet.

Those developments carried over to the civilian world as well. The Model 314 “Clipper” series, the luxurious flying boat destined to make the first scheduled passenger trans-Atlantic flight; and the Stratoliner, the first pressurized airliner, were introduced.

As the threat of war drew near, Boeing’s production plants went underground, in a manner of speaking. To hide from potential air attack, the plant in Seattle camouflaged its rooftops by building burlap houses with chicken-wire lawns. When viewed from the air, the rooftops appeared to be just another suburb.

The war years produced a unique phenomenon — “Rosie the Riveter.” As men went off to war, thousands of women filled the labor gap. Production jumped from 60 planes per month in 1942 to an extraordinary 360 planes per month by March 1944, and in one Herculean effort, pushed out 16 planes in 24 hours.

During that time, Boeing produced the B-29 “Superfortress” in 1942 at facilities in Renton, Washington, and Wichita, Kansas. The latter plant became famous for its employment of housewives, shopkeepers, and farmhands in what became known as the “Battle of Kansas.”

The war effort from 1936 and 1944 also produced an unusual spirit of cooperation among aircraft manufacturers. B-29s were built by Boeing, Martin, and Bell Aircraft, while B-17s were built by Boeing, Lockheed, and Douglas.

Postwar years

Amid the obligatory layoffs following the end of World War II, Boeing plunged ahead with development of jet-engine technology, boosted by knowledge gained from captured data from German wind tunnels.

Boeing’s version of the wind tunnel was the largest privately owned facility and was instrumental in the development of the first six-engine, swept-wing jet bomber, the B-47. That model was quickly followed by the first eight-engine, long-range, swept-wing bomber, the now-fabled B-52, which first took flight in April 1952.

That advancement in technology allowed Boeing to commit $16 million to a prototype for large-scale passenger jet transport. The result was the Model 367-80, affectionately known as the “Dash 80.”

The Dash 80 technology was built into the first jet aerial tanker, the KC-135 Stratotanker, and a commercial airliner, the Model 707-120, or more familiarly, Boeing 707. That fuel-efficient carrier could carry as many trans-Atlantic passengers in a year as the Queen Mary ocean liner, for one-sixth the investment ($5 million) and one-tenth the cost for fuel.

Missiles enter the picture

As the Cold War ground on, the Ground-to-Air Pilotless Aircraft (GAPA) produced during World War II in response to German “buzz bombs,” set the stage for such defensive weapons as the 45-foot Bomarc missiles, built in 1957.

That experience prompted the military to award Boeing the contract for the Minuteman intercontinental ballistic missile project, that included design and installation of missile bases and the maintenance support system.

A growing familyThe 707, now with turbofan engines designed to reduce noise and increase efficiency, became the standard bearer for an entire family of jet planes built for specific purposes. The 727 was Boeing’s entry into the smaller airport/runway market. It was the only tri-jet built by the company.

The enormous 747 jumbo jet was built to carry more passengers and help to relieve crowded airports.

One model of the 707, the 120B, was used to transport government officials and was dubbed “Air Force One” when the United States president was on board. Other models of the 707 were used until 1990 when they were replaced by versions of the 747 mainframe.

The Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) used the 707 mainframe as its platform beginning in 1976, and continued until 1991 when the 767 took over.

The space race

When U.S. president John F. Kennedy announced to the world in 1961 that America would put a man on the moon by the end of the decade, Boeing president William M. Allen loaned 2,000 executives to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to organize the venture, including the entire Apollo Program.Boeing was involved in the construction of the lunar orbiters, which photographed the moon’s surface and sent the images back to earth for NASA to choose the most advantageous landing sites for the astronauts. The lunar roving vehicles used by the astronauts also were built by Boeing.

Boeing's involvement did not end there. They were responsible for perhaps the most critical element of the entire project — the S-1C first-stage booster for the Saturn V rocket that would propel U.S. astronauts into history.The booster, America’s largest ever, was 138 feet high and provided enough thrust to cast a 120-ton payload into orbit around the earth. It was also used to put Skylab into orbit in 1973.

The Seventies

As euphoric as the Sixties were for Boeing, the early Seventies were, at best, sobering, and at worst, downright scary.

As the Apollo program was scaled back, Boeing looked to new revenue sources. The expected success of the 747 was slow in coming — Boeing went 18 months without a domestic order. Congress had pulled the plug on Supersonic Transport (SST) subsidies in March 1971. By October, Boeing’s Seattle-area workforce was cut by more than half to slightly more than 35,000.

The ex-employees created a mass exodus, prompting a billboard that read, “Will the last person leaving Seattle turn out the lights?”

Scrambling to stay aloft, Boeing was forced to diversify, and diversify they did. Boeing created a major presence in the commercial computer products industry, courted nearly 150 government and civilian clients, and launched a number of computer training centers across the country.

Other ventures involved them in a desalinization plant in the Virgin Islands, construction of light-rail cars for systems in San Francisco and Boston, installing irrigation systems in the high-desert country of eastern Oregon, constructing huge wind turbines in the Columbia River gorge, and managing housing projects for governmental agencies, to name a few.

Not everything was dormant in the aeronautical department, however. In 1973, a Boeing-built Mariner 10 space probe was launched with a course set for Venus and Mercury. Short-range attack missiles were still being built, and work started on more than 1,700 cruise missiles.

The Eighties

As the recession eased its grip, the Renton, Washington, plant rolled out the 1,000th 737.

Environmental restrictions, combined with rising fuel prices, forced companies to produce more energy-efficient aircraft. Boeing responded with upgraded versions of the 737, 757, and 767. They also produced the Model 234, a civilian conversion of a Chinook military helicopter.

Relatively small-scale military projects included work on the F/A 22 fighter, the Comanche armed reconnaissance helicopter, the Osprey tiltrotor, the Avenger air defense system, and the Roland surface-to-air missile system.

The Nineties

Under the leadership of president Frank Shrontz in the mid-80s, Boeing landed work on the B-2 stealth bomber and upgrades on the B-52 and KC-135. Other projects moving the company into the Nineties were the Joint Strike Fighter and the remote-controlled DarkStar.

In the space group of Boeing, the Initial Upper Stage booster was built to help place satellites into high Earth orbit. The Sea Launch was built to launch civilian satellites. In addition, Boeing became the prime contractor on the first International Space Station.

In December 1996, Boeing Company and the defense and aerospace units of Rockwell International Company merged. The subsidiaries were renamed Boeing North American. Another merger, this one with McDonnell Douglas Corporation in August 1997, continued to streamline operations and consolidate market positions.The Future

As the new millennium dawned in March 2001, the company announced plans to move its world headquarters offices from Seattle to Chicago, and began operations there in September.

The aerospace giant was now poised to expand its influence throughout the industry, including work on the next generation of Global Positioning System satellites, integrating global communications, high-speed Internet, and entertainment and data services.

Boeing now has customers in 145 countries, employees in more than 60 countries, and operations in 26 states. From the Big Four of Boeing, Douglas, McDonnell, and North American, there has emerged one enormous enterprise, “building the future of flight on Earth and beyond.”

Boeing has expanded over the years, merging with McDonnell Douglas in 1997. Its international headquarters has been in Chicago, Illinois, US since 2001. Boeing is the largest global aircraft manufacturer by revenue, orders and deliveries, and the second-largest aerospace and defense contractor in the world. Boeing is the largest exporter in the United States. Its stock is a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

Before 1950s
Boeing was incorporated in Seattle, Washington by William E. Boeing, on July 15, 1916, as "Pacific Aero Products Co." following the June 15 maiden flight of one of the two "B&W" seaplanes built with the assistance of George Conrad Westervelt, a U.S. Navy engineer. Many of Boeing's early planes were seaplanes. On May 9, 1917, the company became the "Boeing Airplane Company". William E. Boeing had studied at Yale University and worked initially in the timber industry, where he became wealthy and acquired knowledge about wooden structures. This knowledge would prove invaluable in his subsequent design and assembly of airplanes.

In 1927 Boeing created an airline named Boeing Air Transport, which merged a year later with Pacific Air Transport and the Boeing Airplane Company. The company changed its name to United Aircraft and Transport Corporation in 1929 and acquired Pratt & Whitney, Hamilton Standard Propeller Company, and Chance Vought. United Aircraft then purchased National Air Transport in 1930.

In 1933 the revolutionary Boeing 247 was introduced, the first truly modern airliner. It was much faster, safer, and easier to fly than other passenger aircraft. For example, it was the first twin engine passenger aircraft that could fly on one engine. In an era of unreliable engines, this vastly improved flight safety. Boeing built the first sixty aircraft exclusively for its own airline operations. This badly hurt competing airlines, and was typical of the anti-competitive corporate behavior that the US government sought to prohibit at the time.

The Air Mail Act of 1934 prohibited airlines and manufacturers from being under the same corporate umbrella, so the company split into three smaller companies - Boeing Airplane Company, United Airlines, and United Aircraft Corporation, the precursor to United Technologies. As a result, William Boeing sold off his shares.

Shortly after, an agreement with Pan American World Airways (Pan Am) was reached, to develop and build a commercial flying boat able to carry passengers on transoceanic routes. The first flight of the Boeing 314 Clipper was in June 1938. It was the largest civil aircraft of its time, with a capacity of 90 passengers on day flights, and of 40 passengers on night flights. One year later, the first regular passenger service from the US to the UK was inaugurated. Subsequently other routes were opened, so that soon Pan Am flew with the Boeing 314 to destinations all over the world.

In 1938, Boeing completed work on the Model 307 Stratoliner. This was the world&rsquos first pressurized-cabin transport aircraft, and it was capable of cruising at an altitude of 20,000 feet (6,100 m). &mdash above most weather disturbances.

During World War II, Boeing built a large number of bombers. Many of the workers were women whose husbands had gone to war. In the beginning of March 1944, production had been scaled up in such a manner that over 350 planes were built each month. To prevent an attack from the air, the manufacturing plants had been covered with greenery and farmland items. During these years of war the leading aircraft companies of the US cooperated. The Boeing-designed B-17 bomber was assembled also by Lockheed Aircraft Corp. and Douglas Aircraft Co., while the B-29 was assembled also by Bell Aircraft Co. and by Glenn L. Martin Company.

After the war, most orders of bombers were canceled and 70,000 people lost their jobs at Boeing. The company aimed to recover quickly by selling its Stratocruiser, a luxurious four-engine commercial airliner developed from the B-29. However, sales of this model were not as expected and Boeing had to seek other opportunities to overcome the situation. The company successfully sold military aircraft adapted for troop transportation and for aerial refueling.

Boeing developed military jets such as the B-47 Stratojet and B-52 Stratofortress in the late-1940s and into the 1950s. During the early 1950s, Boeing used company funds to develop the 367-80 jet airliner demonstrator that lead to the KC-135 Stratotanker and Boeing 707 jetliner.

In the mid-1950s technology had advanced significantly, which gave Boeing the opportunity to develop and manufacture totally new products. One of the first was the guided short-range missile used to intercept enemy aircraft. By that time the Cold War had become a fact of life, and Boeing used its short-range missile technology to develop and build an intercontinental missile.

In 1958, Boeing began delivery of its 707, the United States' first commercial jet airliner, in response to the British De Havilland Comet, French Sud Aviation Caravelle and Soviet Tupolev Tu-104, which were the world&rsquos first generation of commercial jet aircraft. With the 707, a four-engine, 156-passenger airliner, the US became a leader in commercial jet manufacture. A few years later, Boeing added a second version of this aircraft, the 720, which was slightly faster and had a shorter range.

Vertol Aircraft Corporation was acquired by Boeing in 1960, and was reorganized as Boeing's Vertol division. The twin-rotor CH-47 Chinook, produced by Vertol, took its first flight in 1961. This heavy-lift helicopter remains a work-horse vehicle up to the present day. In 1964, Vertol also began production of the CH-46 Sea Knight.

In December, 1960 Boeing announced the model 727 jetliner, which went into commercial service about three years later. Different passenger, freight and convertible freighter variants were developed for the 727. The 727 was the first commercial jetliner to reach 1000 sales, and a few years later the 1500 mark was set.

In the beginning of the 1970s, Boeing faced a new crisis. The Apollo program, in which Boeing had participated significantly during the preceding decade, was almost entirely canceled. Once more, Boeing hoped to compensate with sales of its commercial airliners. At that time, however, there was a heavy recession in the airlines industry so that Boeing did not receive any orders for more than a year. Boeing's bet for the future, the new 747, while delayed in production by three months because of problems with its Pratt & Whitney engines. Another problem was that in 1971, the U.S. Congress decided to stop the financial support for the development of the supersonic 2707, Boeing's answer to the British-French Concorde, forcing the company to discontinue the project. The company had to reduce the number of employees from over 80,000 to almost half, only in the Seattle area.

In January 1970, the first 747, a four-engine long-range airliner, flew its first commercial flight. This famous aircraft completely changed the way of flying, with its 450-passenger seating capacity and its upper deck. Boeing has delivered nearly 1,400 747s. The 747 has undergone continuous improvements to keep it technologically up-to-date. Larger versions have also been developed by stretching the upper deck.

In 1983, the economic situation began to improve. Boeing assembled its 1,000th 737 passenger airliner. During the following years, commercial aircraft and their military versions became the basic equipment of airlines and air forces. As passenger air traffic increased, competition was harder, mainly from a European newcomer in commercial airliner manufacturing, Airbus. Boeing had to offer new aircraft, and developed the single-aisle 757, the larger, twin-aisle 767, and upgraded versions of the 737. An important project of these years was the Space Shuttle, to which Boeing contributed with its experience in space rockets acquired during the Apollo era. Boeing participated also with other products in the space program, and was the first contractor for the International Space Station. At the same time, several military projects went into production, the Avenger air defense system and a new generation of short-range missiles. During these years, Boeing was very active in upgrading existing military equipment and developing new ones.

Boeing was one of seven companies competing for the Advanced Tactical Fighter. Boeing's entry was not selected but, as part of an agreement with General Dynamics and Lockheed, all three companies would participate in the development if one of the three company's design was selected. The Lockheed design was eventually selected and developed into the F-22 Raptor.

In April 1994, Boeing introduced the most modern commercial jet aircraft at the time, the twin-engine 777, with a seating capacity of between 300 and 400 passengers in a standard three class layout, in between the 767 and the 747. The longest range twin-engined aircraft in the world, the 777 was the first Boeing airliner to feature a "fly-by-wire" system and was conceived partly in response to the inroads being made by the European Airbus into Boeing&rsquos traditional market. This aircraft reached an important milestone by being the first airliner to be designed entirely by using CAD techniques. Also in the mid-1990s, the company developed the revamped version of the 737, known as the &ldquoNext-Generation 737&rdquo, or 737NG. It has since become the fastest-selling version of the 737 in history, and on April 20, 2006 sales passed those of the 'Classic 737', with a follow-up order for 79 aircraft from Southwest Airlines. The &ldquoNext-Generation 737&rdquo line includes the 737-600, the 737-700, the 737-800, and the 737-900.

In 1996, Boeing acquired Rockwell&rsquos aerospace and defense units. The Rockwell products became a subsidiary of Boeing, named Boeing North American, Inc. In August of the next year, Boeing merged with McDonnell Douglas in a US$13 billion stock swap under the name The Boeing Company. However this name had actually been Boeing's official name previously adapted on May 21, 1961. Following the merger, the McDonnell Douglas MD-95 was renamed the Boeing 717, and the production of the MD-11 was limited to the freighter version. Boeing introduced a new corporate identity with completion of the merger, incorporating the Boeing logo type and a stylized version of the McDonnell Douglas symbol, which was derived from the Douglas Aircraft logo from the 1970s.

In September 2001, Boeing moved its corporate headquarters from Seattle to Chicago.

On October 10, 2001, Boeing lost to its rival Lockheed Martin in the fierce competition for the multi-billion dollar Joint Strike Fighter contract. Boeing&rsquos entry, the X-32, was rejected in favor of Lockheed&rsquos X-35 entrant. Boeing continues to serve as the prime contractor on the International Space Station and has built several of the major components.

After several decades of success, Boeing lost ground to Airbus and subsequently lost its position as market leader in 2003. Multiple Boeing projects were pursued and then canceled, notably the Sonic Cruiser, a proposed jetliner that would travel just under the speed of sound, cutting intercontinental travel times by as much as 20 percent. It was launched in 2001 along with a new advertising campaign to promote the company's new motto, "Forever New Frontiers", and to rehabilitate its image. However, the plane's fate was sealed by the changes in the commercial aviation market following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and the subsequent weak economy and increase in fuel prices.

Subsequently, Boeing streamlined production and turned its attention to a new model, the 787 Dreamliner, using much of the technology developed for the Sonic Cruiser, but in a more conventional aircraft designed for maximum efficiency. The company also launched new variants of its successful 737 and 777 models. The 787 proved to be highly popular choice with airlines, and won a record number of pre-launch orders at a time in which Airbus was seen to be struggling with delays and cost overruns in producing its A380 suberjumbo at the same time, several airlines threatened to switch their A380 orders to Boeing's modernized version of the 747, the 747-8.Airbus's response to the 787, the A350, received a lukewarm response at first when it was announced as an improved version of the A330, and only gained significant orders when Airbus promised an entirely new design.

In 2004, Boeing ended production of the 757 after 1055 were produced. More advanced, stretched versions of the 737 were beginning to compete against the 757, and the new 787-3 filled much of the top end of the 757 market. Also that year, Boeing announced that the 717, the last civil aircraft to be designed by McDonnell Douglas, would cease production in 2006. The 767 was in danger of cancellation as well, with the 787 replacing it, but orders for the freighter version extended the program.

In May 2005, Boeing announced its intent to form a joint venture, United Launch Alliance with its competitor Lockheed Martin. The new venture will be the largest provider of rocket launch services to the US government. The joint venture gained regulatory approval and completed the formation on December 1, 2006.

On August 2, 2005 Boeing sold its Rocketdyne rocket engine division to Pratt & Whitney. On May 1, 2006, Boeing announced that it had reached a definitive agreement to purchase Dallas, Texas-based Aviall, Inc. for $1.7 billion and retain $350 million in debt. Aviall, Inc. and its subsidiaries, Aviall Services, Inc. and ILS formed a wholly owned subsidiary of Boeing Commercial Aviation Services (BCAS).

On August 18, 2007, NASA announced that Boeing would be the manufacturing contractor for the liquid-fueled upper stage of the Ares I rocket. The stage, based on both Apollo-Saturn and Space Shuttle technologies, will be constructed at NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility near New Orleans, the same site where Boeing constructed the massive S-IC stage of the Saturn V rocket in the 1960s.

Recent Product Development
Boeing has recently achieved several consecutive launches, beginning with the formal launch of the 787 for delivery to All Nippon Airways and Air New Zealand. Rollout of the first 787 occurred on July 8, 2007.

Boeing also received the launch contract from the US Navy for the P-8 Multimission Maritime Aircraft, an anti-submarine warfare patrol aircraft. Several orders for the Wedgetail AEW&C airplanes are expected as well.

Boeing launched the 777 Freighter in May 2005 with an order from Air France. The freighter variant is based on the -200LR. Other customers include FedEx, Emirates Airline, and Air Atlanta Icelandic. Boeing has achieved above projected orders for its 787 Dreamliner, outselling the rival Airbus A350.

Boeing officially announced in November 2005 that it would produce a larger variant of the 747, the 747-8, in two models, commencing with the Freighter model for two cargo carriers with firm orders for the aircraft. The second model, dubbed the Intercontinental, would be produced for passenger airlines that Boeing expected would place orders in the near future. Both models of the 747-8 would feature a lengthened fuselage, new, advanced engines and wings, and the incorporation of other technologies developed for the 787.

Boeing has also introduced new extended range versions of the 737. These include the 737-700ER and 737-900ER. The 737-900ER is the latest and will extend the range of the 737-900 to a similar range as the successful 737-800 with the capability to fly more passengers, due to the addition of two extra emergency exits.

The 777-200LR Worldliner embarked on a well-received global demonstration tour in the second half of 2005, showing off its capacity to fly farther than any other commercial aircraft. On November 10, 2005, the 777-200LR set a world record for the longest non-stop flight. The plane, which departed from Hong Kong traveling to London, took a longer route, which included flying over the U.S. It flew 11,664 nautical miles (21,601km) during its 22-hour 42-minute flight.

Realizing that increasing numbers of passengers have become reliant on their computers to stay in touch, Boeing introduced Connexion by Boeing, a satellite based Internet connectivity service that promised air travelers unprecedented access to the World Wide Web. The company debuted the product to journalists in 2005, receiving generally favorable reviews. However, facing competition from cheaper options, such as cellular networks, it proved too difficult to sell to most airlines. In August 2006, after a short and unsuccessful search for a buyer for the business, Boeing chose to discontinue the service.

Employment By Location
Alabama 3,256
Arizona 4,611
California 27,434
Kansas 2,950
Missouri 15,693
Pennsylvania 5,281
Texas 5,390
Washington 76,234
Other Locations 23,002
Total Company 163,851

The Boeing Airplane Company nearly collapsed following the end of World War I military orders. Pioneer pilot Eddie Hubbard (1889-1928) helped William E. Boeing (1881-1956) deliver the first bag of international airmail on March 3, 1919, and urged the company to pursue U.S. Air Mail contracts. A skeptical Boeing bid on and won the Chicago-San Francisco route in 1927, and quickly developed faster aircraft culminating in the Model 247, the first true airliner. Boeing developed or purchased airlines to build its own passenger system, United Air Lines. It also expanded its holdings to create the giant United Aircraft and Transportation Company, but federal anti-trust regulators broke up the combine in 1934. An embittered Bill Boeing quit the company and sold his stock that same year.

From Warplanes to Wardrobes

Within one month of the November 11, 1918, armistice ending World War I, Boeing's payroll plummeted from 337 workers to 80. In order to keep doors of its "Red Barn" Plant 1 open, company founder William E. Boeing built furniture, sea sleds, and powerboats (which proved popular with local bootleggers during Prohibition). On the brink of bankruptcy, the company was saved by a U.S. Army order to refurbish DH-4 biplanes.

Pioneer Boeing test pilot Eddie Hubbard believed that airmail offered an escape route. He and Bill Boeing flew to Vancouver, British Columbia, on March 3, 1919, and returned to Seattle's Lake Union with the nation's first bag of international airmail. The U.S. Post Office inaugurated domestic airmail two months later, using government aircraft and pilots. Hubbard won one of the first international airmail contracts in 1920, and shuttled mail between Seattle and Victoria in a Boeing-built B-1 flying boat.

Post Office Puts its Stamp on First Airlines

Following passage of the federal Kelly Act in 1925, the Post Office began contracting with private companies to carry airmail on designated routes, and more and more passengers begin hitching rides in "mail planes." Thus, these first postal franchises stimulated the early growth of the airline industry in much the same way that nineteenth century land grants supported development of transcontinental railroads.

Vern Gorst's Pacific Air Transport Company delivered Seattle's first bag of domestic airmail on September 15, 1926, landing next to Boeing's Plant 1 in a Ryan monoplane. Meanwhile, Boeing was finishing work on a powerful new mail plane, the Model 40. When the Post Office advertised bids for the Chicago-San Francisco route (CAM-18) on November 25, 1926, Hubbard persuaded a skeptical Boeing to make a proposal. The company won with a bargain rate of $1.50 per pound of mail and organized a new subsidiary, the Boeing Air Transport Corporation, or Boeing System.

Birth of Boeing Field

The Boeing System inaugurated service with two dozen Model 40As on July 1, 1927. Because of limited space at Boeing's Duwamish plant, the planes were finished at King County's Sand Point airfield. The following year, Boeing purchased Gorst's Pacific Air Transport and introduced larger Model 80 and 80A trimotors. Their cabins could hold up to 18 passengers, who were attended by registered nurses -- the nation's first "stewardesses."

The success of the Model 80 overwhelmed Boeing's limited air field on the Duwamish, and King County sold Sand Point to the U.S. Navy. The company threatened to relocate to Los Angeles unless local government built a new airport. King County responded by developing Boeing Field (now King County International Airport). When the new field was dedicated on July 26, 1928, Bill Boeing called it "just about the happiest day of my life."

United Aircraft Comes Together

Technological advances, funded in part by military contracts, led Boeing to develop all-metal monoplane designs in the late 1920s and early 1930s. In rapid succession, Boeing introduced the fast, low-wing Monomail, the famed P-26 Peashooter pursuit, and twin-engine B-9 bomber.

At the same time, Boeing began to assemble an industrial empire. On February 1, 1929, William Boeing and Fred Rentschler, president of Pratt & Whitney engines, incorporated United Aircraft and Transport, led by executives Claire Egtvedt (d. 1975) and Philip G. Johnson (d. 1944). United quickly acquired Hamilton and Standard propellers, Chance-Vought, Northrop, Sikorsky (a major seaplane builder before it pioneered helicopters), and Stearman, which established Boeing's future base in Wichita, Kansas.

United Air Lines and the 247 Take Wing

United's development was not slowed significantly by the Depression, due in large part to reorganization of federal airmail contracts under McNary-Watres Act of 1930. Herbert Hoover's Postmaster General, Walter Folger Brown, sought to cull the nation's flock of small competing airlines and convened a series of what later became known as "spoils conferences" to allocate major routes to the strongest companies. Boeing won the northern tier of the United States, American Airlines took the south, and Trans-Western Airlines (now TWA) was created to serve the middle.

On July 1, 1931, Boeing formally consolidated its own system with Varney, Stout, Pacific Air Transport, and National Air Transport to create United Air Lines. Boeing engineers were already at work on a revolutionary new design: the Model 247. This sleek, twin-engined all-metal monoplane could whisk 10 passengers from coast to coast in a mere 20 hours, including refueling stops.

The first Model 247 took off from Boeing Field on February 8, 1933, and set a new standard for airliner speed and comfort. TWA tried in vain to buy the plane for its own routes, but Boeing had reserved the first production aircraft for United. Frustrated, TWA commissioned Donald Douglas to design a comparable plane. This culminated in the famous DC-3, which surpassed the 247 in size and speed and rendered it obsolete within a few years.

What Goes Up .

Boeing faced a different, more dangerous threat when the new Democratic Congress began investigating the Hoover Administration's regulation of airlines. On September 28, 1933, Senator (later Supreme Court Justice) Hugo Black opened highly publicized hearings on the Post Office "spoils conferences." William Boeing was subjected to a particularly withering examination by Black and his colleagues, who lambasted his "monopolistic" practices.

Amid the growing scandal, President Franklin Roosevelt (1882-1945) cancelled all airmail franchises on March 10, 1934, and turned the mails over to poorly equipped Army pilots. Ten perished during the following two weeks, and the Post Office quickly solicited new private carriers. In a move clearly aimed at Boeing, new Postmaster General James Farley and, later, Congress banned the award of the new contracts to any companies that also built aircraft.

Boeing was forced to dissolve United Aircraft and Transport as a result. United Air Lines was reincorporated as an independent company on May 1, 1934, and its former president, Phil Johnson, headed north to help organize Trans-Canada Airlines (he was called back to United during World War II). The Boeing Airplane Company was reorganized on July 19 under the leadership of Claire Egtvedt, and United Aircraft and Transport officially ceased to exist on September 26, 1934.

With his former empire in ruins and deeply embittered by his treatment in Congress, William Boeing retired and sold most of his Boeing shares. His only consolation in 1934 was receipt of the prestigious Guggenheim Medal for aviation leadership, but William Boeing never again played a significant role in the company that still bears his name or in the industry that he, perhaps more than any other single individual, had helped to create.

Boeing 247, 1930s

Courtesy Holcomb's Aerodrome


Boeing Historical Archives, Year by Year, 75 Years of Boeing History (Seattle: Boeing, 1991) Peter M. Bowers, Boeing Aircraft Since 1916 (London: Putnam, 1993) Jim Brown, Hubbard, The Forgotten Boeing Aviator (Seattle: Peanut Butter Press, 1997) Joe Christy, American Aviation, An Illustrated History (Blue Ridge Summit, PA: TAB Books, 1987) Robert van der Linden, The Boeing 247, The First Modern Airliner (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1991) Harold Mansfield, Vision, The Story of Boeing (New York, Popular Press, 1966) Donald M. Pattillo, Pushing the Envelope: The American Aircraft Industry (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1998) Robert Redding and Bill Yene, Boeing, Planemaker to the World (San Diego: Thunder Bay Press, 1997) Robert Serling, Legend & Legacy: The Story of Boeing and Its People (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1992).


The Boeing Company was started in 1916, when American lumber industrialist William E. Boeing founded Aero Products Company in Seattle, Washington. Shortly before doing so, he and Conrad Westervelt created the "B&W" seaplane. [14] [15] In 1917, the organization was renamed Boeing Airplane Company, with William Boeing forming Boeing Airplane & Transport Corporation in 1928. [14] In 1929, the company was renamed United Aircraft and Transport Corporation, followed by the acquisition of several aircraft makers such as Avion, Chance Vought, Sikorsky Aviation, Stearman Aircraft, Pratt & Whitney, and Hamilton Metalplane. [2]

In 1931, the group merged its four smaller airlines into United Airlines. In 1934, the manufacture of aircraft was required to be separate from air transportation. [16] Therefore, Boeing Airplane Company became one of three major groups to arise from dissolution of United Aircraft and Transport the other two entities were United Aircraft (later United Technologies) and United Airlines. [2] [16]

In 1960, the company bought Vertol Aircraft Corporation, which at the time, was the biggest independent fabricator of helicopters. [17] During the 1960s and 1970s, the company diversified into industries such as outer space travel, marine craft, agriculture, energy production and transit systems. [2]

In 1995, Boeing partnered with Russian, Ukrainian and Anglo-Norwegian organizations to create Sea Launch, a company providing commercial launch services sending satellites to geostationary orbit from floating platforms. [18] In 2000, Boeing acquired the satellite segment of Hughes Electronics. [2] [19]

In December 1996, Boeing announced its intention to merge with McDonnell Douglas and, following regulatory approval, this was completed on August 4, 1997. [20] This had been delayed by objections from the European Commission, which ultimately placed three conditions on the merger: termination of exclusivity agreements with three US airlines, separate accounts would be maintained for the McDonnell-Douglas civil aircraft business, and some defense patents were to be made available to competitors. [21]

The corporate headquarters were moved from Seattle to Chicago in 2001. [22] In 2018, Boeing opened its first factory in Europe at Sheffield, UK, reinforced by a research partnership with The University of Sheffield. [23]

In May 2020, the company cut over 12,000 jobs due to the drop in air travel during the COVID-19 pandemic with plans for a total 10% cut of its workforce or approximately 16,000 positions. [24] In July 2020, Boeing reported a loss of $2.4 billion as a result of the pandemic and the grounding of its 737 MAX aircraft. As a result of the profit loss, the company announced that it is planning to do more job and production cuts. [25] On August 18, 2020, CEO Dave Calhoun announced to Boeing employees that the company plans another round of job cuts in addition to the 16,000 positions previously announced to be eliminated. [26]

On October 28, 2020, Boeing CEO David Calhoun, in an email message to employees, announced the lay off of nearly 30,000 employees, as the airplane manufacturer was increasingly losing money due to the COVID-19 pandemic. [27]

The Boeing 777X, the largest capacity twinjet, made its maiden flight on January 25, 2020, [28] and should enter service in 2023. [29]

737 MAX crashes and grounding

After two fatal crashes of the Boeing 737 MAX narrow-body passenger airplanes in 2018 and 2019, aviation regulators and airlines around the world grounded all 737 MAX airliners. [30] A total of 387 aircraft were grounded. [31] Boeing's reputation, business, and financial rating has suffered after these groundings, questioning Boeing's strategy, governance, and focus on profits and cost efficiency. [32] [33] [34]

Executive Biography of William E. Boeing

William E. Boeing left Yale University in 1903 to take advantage of opportunities in the risky and cyclical, but financially rewarding, Northwest timber industry. That experience would serve him well in aviation.

Under his guidance, a tiny airplane manufacturing company grew into a huge corporation of related industries. When post-Depression legislation in 1934 mandated the dispersion of the corporation, Boeing sold his interests in the Boeing Airplane Co. but continued to work on other business ventures.

He became one of America's most successful breeders of thoroughbred horses. He never lost his interest in aviation, and during World War II he volunteered as a consultant to the company. He lived until 1956, long enough to see the company he started enter the jet age.

William E. Boeing was a private person, a visionary, a perfectionist and a stickler for the facts. The wall of his outer office bore a placard that read: "2329 Hippocrates said: 1. There is no authority except facts. 2. Facts are obtained by accurate observation. 3. Deductions are to be made only from facts. 4. Experience has proved the truth of these rules."

According to his son, William Boeing Jr., Boeing was a fast and avid reader and remembered everything he read. He was also a perfectionist. While visiting his airplane building shop at the Duwamish shipyard in 1916, Boeing saw a set of improperly sawed spruce ribs. He brushed them to the floor and walked all over them until they were broken. A frayed aileron cable caused him to remark, "I, for one, will close up shop rather than send out work of this kind."

The Boeing Company, founded in 1916, hit a low point in 1934 when it was forced out of the airline business and was forced to concentrate on its original airplane-manufacturing business. The company's fortunes revived in the buildup to World War II. Thousands of workers swarmed over Boeing's plant on Seattle's Duwamish River, making the bombers and fighters that helped win the war. Employment topped 50,000 by 1944. After the war Boeing entered the newly lucrative commercial-airliner market, and the Cold War revived its military contracts. In the 1950s and 1960s it diversified into an aerospace company and built missiles and rockets. The demise of the SuperSonic Transport (SST) program in 1971 resulted in the infamous Boeing Bust, a statewide economic downturn caused by the loss of 86,000 jobs. Boeing recovered over the ensuing decades, despite increasing competition from Europe's Airbus. Meanwhile, hundreds of other aerospace companies sprang up in Washington to supply parts. Boeing's headquarters moved from Seattle to Chicago in 2001, yet Boeing's assembly plants in Renton and Everett continued to hum. As of 2015, the company employed more than 80,000 Washington workers and the state's aerospace suppliers employed many thousands more.

The airplane company founded by William E. Boeing (1881-1956) had grown into a Seattle manufacturing powerhouse and nationwide air-transportation system by the early 1930s. While the rest of the country was mired in the worst year of the Great Depression in 1933, Boeing employment reached a new high of 2,264. Yet the Boeing Company hit major turbulence in 1934, when the U.S. Congress accused the company of monopolistic practices and forced it to dissolve United Aircraft and Transport, its passenger airline system, which was reincorporated as an independent company under a new name, United Airlines. A bitter Bill Boeing sold most of his shares, retired, and never again played a significant role in the company he founded.

The next year, 1935, the company's payroll dwindled to 839. However, war rumblings from Europe soon revived Boeing's fortunes, along with those of the broader Puget Sound economy. Boeing received orders from the Army Air Corps for dozens of bombers in 1936 and the company's payroll soared, reaching 2,956 workers in 1938 and nearly 6,000 by the end of 1939. With success came labor troubles. The Aero Mechanics' Union threatened to strike in 1940 and Boeing, in retaliation, threatened to move to Portland or San Francisco. This would have spelled economic trouble for all of Washington, because the company was now firmly ingrained in the state's economy. In the end, Boeing accepted arbitration and the labor strife slowly eased, in part because the threat of a new war in Europe brought both sides together. Boeing would remain in Seattle.

The attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 sparked an unprecedented explosion in Washington's aviation industry. The company's Duwamish River complex in South Seattle was covered with camouflage netting so that hostile eyes could not see what was happening below: tens of thousands of workers feverishly building thousands of airplanes, including two of the most famous American aircraft of the war, the B-17 Flying Fortress and the B-29 Superfortress. Boeing was no longer merely a regional economic powerhouse it "instantaneously became a major national business enterprise" (Ficken and LeWarne, 131). By 1944, nearly 50,000 people worked for Boeing. The company had expanded along the Duwamish River and into the suburb of Renton southeast of Seattle. Boeing sales for 1944 exceeded $600 million, a number unthinkable before the war. This was 10 times the total sales for all of Seattle's industry in 1939. Seattle's population skyrocketed and many of those newcomers were working long hours and making good money at Boeing.

The company's presence was now felt all across the state. For instance, aluminum, produced with cheap hydroelectric power in Spokane, Longview, and other cities, almost immediately became the state's second-biggest wartime industry. Much of that aluminum was bound for Boeing, where it was fashioned into wings and fuselages. Personal income was tripling across Washington, partly because of "the narcotic effects of war contracts," as one Seattle newspaper put it (Ficken and LeWarne, 130). Meanwhile, the state's community and technical colleges had begun offering aviation training programs as early as 1941, when the school in Pierce County that would evolve into Clover Park Technical College started training aircraft mechanics.

For Washington's economy, "the postwar era began not . aboard the battleship Missouri, but in the board room of the Boeing Company" (Ficken and LeWarne, 144). With peace in 1945, it appeared that the state's aviation industry would crash again. The government immediately canceled most of its B-29 contracts and Boeing's board slashed the workforce to 11,000. This was perilously close to the critical mass "below which the company could not survive" (Bauer, 108). Boeing pulled out of this dive by converting one of its cargo planes to a commercial airliner, the Stratocruiser, and pursuing the growing commercial-aviation industry.

Then, as the 1950s began, the Cold War and the Korean conflict created a renewed demand for military aircraft. Boeing developed the B-47 and the groundbreaking B-52 Stratofortress. Over the next decades, Boeing would build 744 of the massive B-52 jet bombers, more than 60 of which were still in use in 2015, 60 years after the plane first entered service. Then came the KC-135, an Air Force tanker built in Renton, and a series of commercial jetliners, including the hugely popular Boeing 707 and Boeing 727. Boeing had not merely survived the postwar era, it was thriving on an unprecedented scale. In 1957, employment topped 100,000 for the first time. Yet for the state's economy, "Boeing's own success proved a mixed blessing" (Ficken and LeWarne, 145). The workforce and the economy continued to careen up and down in sometimes sickening lurches, depending on the whims of the commercial-airplane market and the stiff competition for military contracts.

Boeing's solution was to diversify. As the 1960s began, space became a key part of President John F. Kennedy's New Frontier. Boeing had already entered the missile business in the 1950s with its BOMARC supersonic antiaircraft rockets. Then in 1961 it won a contract to build Saturn rocket boosters. In 1963 the company acquired 320 acres of farmland in Kent and built the Kent Space Center, which would become the sprawling headquarters for Boeing's many space-related projects, including the Lunar Roving Vehicle that eight years later would ramble over the surface of the moon. Washington's aviation industry had evolved into an aerospace industry.

By 1966 Boeing was taking a hard look at its primary market, the airliner. Deciding that jumbo jets were the future, the company acquired Paine Field, an old wartime military base in Everett, and built what remains in 2015 the largest building by volume in the world. It was the assembly plant for the company's new jumbo jet, the Boeing 747, and the workforce soon exceeded 20,000 at Everett alone. The first 747 rolled out of the giant building in 1969 (by 2014, Boeing had built 1,500 747s and counting).

The 747 also marked a turning point in the way the company built its planes, with enormous implications for Washington's economy. Only the wings and the forward body sections, including the flight deck, were actually manufactured in the Boeing plant. More than 65 percent of the 747 was subcontracted to other companies. Tellingly, the Everett plant was called an assembly plant, not a factory. To a significant degree, the 747 was being built in widely scattered workshops and factories all over the state and all over the world and then assembled in Everett. This trend would accelerate over the next few decades. A running joke in Seattle went like this: "A Boeing airplane is forty-five thousand pieces flying in close formation" (Newhouse, 168).

Airplanes had become so complex that it made sense to farm out some parts to specialists. Some of these suppliers were clustered in the Puget Sound area and were founded by former Boeing employees who had struck out on their own. Others were scattered around the state and utilized the aerospace knowledge of retired Air Force personnel from Washington's many air bases. And many of the suppliers were overseas. Still, assembling and integrating all of these pieces in Everett and Renton remained a massive job. As the 747 project got rolling in 1968, employment at Boeing peaked at nearly 142,400, and many thousands more were working for Boeing's suppliers.

Then came the biggest Boeing downturn of all, the one for which the term Boeing Bust was coined. As the 1970s dawned, the airliner market was saturated and the country was slipping into recession. Boeing laid off more than 25,000 workers in 1969 and another 41,000 in 1970. Then in 1971 came devastating news. The U.S. Senate cut funding for Boeing's sleek new Supersonic Transport, known as the SST, and the company cut nearly 20,000 more jobs. The workforce hit a low of 56,300. This Boeing Bust had put 86,000 workers on the street in three years.

"Seattle and the Puget Sound region -- where most of the people were employed -- became a disaster area and statewide, Washington unemployment hit 14 percent, highest in the nation. Someone placed a huge sign adjacent to Interstate 5, with the grim admonition, 'Will the last person leaving Seattle turn out the lights'" (Bauer, 216).

The company -- and the state's aerospace industry -- engineered a remarkable comeback over the next decade. Boeing landed several lucrative military contracts, including the Airborne Early Warning and Control System (a radar plane known as AWACS), built in Renton, and air-launched cruise missiles, made at the Kent Space Center. The company also made a crucial strategic pivot: It decided to target "overseas commercial sales as its top priority" (Bauer, 216). By 1972, the company was selling to airline customers in Romania, Egypt, Iraq, Sudan, and, of special significance for the future, China. Japan Air Lines had, for decades, been one of Boeing's largest customers, and it operated a pilot-training center at the former Larson Air Force Base in Moses Lake, Grant County, for more than 40 years. As of 1978 more than half of Boeing's commercial airliner orders were foreign. Boeing had by then become the country's largest single exporter and earner of foreign capital and it would continue to remain near the top.

However, the trauma of the 1971 Boeing Bust had hurt nearly everybody in the state, not just Boeing workers. It was seared into the collective psyche. Washington's policy makers and business leaders put a great deal of effort into diversifying the state's economy. This effort eventually reached fruition in the 1990s with the rise of Microsoft, Amazon, and the high-tech industry. That helped to alleviate the "mixed" portion of the "mixed blessing" that was Boeing. Meanwhile the "blessing" part was still obvious with Boeing's employment rebounding back to more than 100,000 by 1980.

The company still towered over its aerospace competitors, but by the late 1980s that began to change. An upstart European company called Airbus was beginning to cut into the market, partly because it was able to build airplanes more cheaply than Boeing. The reasons for this became a subject of fierce international debate in the mid-1990s. In some American circles -- and especially in Boeing's home state -- Airbus was considered to have an unfair advantage over Boeing because a consortium of European governments subsidized it. In fact, Airbus had been conceived because the governments of Britain, France, Spain, and Germany were worried that they would lose their national aircraft corporations altogether to the Americans, i.e. Boeing. But how could Boeing be expected to compete with a company whose losses could be covered by government money? In Seattle people felt it smacked of "socialism," or at least an unfair playing field, while on the other hand Europeans were appalled at "Boeing's habit of laying off thousands of highly trained mechanics in slack periods" (Newhouse, 10). In fact, in 1992 Boeing announced another layoff of 28,000 workers.

The debate came to a head when President Bill Clinton (b. 1946) visited Seattle that year and said that many of the layoffs wouldn't have happened without the $26 billion that European governments had plowed into Airbus: "The Europeans are going to have to quit subsidizing Airbus . I am not going to roll over and play dead" (Newhouse, 47). Seattle's economy, noted Clinton, was the most export-dependent in the U.S. and a model for a nation increasingly concerned about growing overseas-trade gaps. An international agreement did, in fact, partially limit Airbus subsidies, but it didn't appear to help Boeing. In 1993, Moody's downgraded Boeing's debt rating for the first time in company history. The subsidies debate would drag on toward stalemate.

Once again, the state's aerospace industry lurched up and down. In 1997, Boeing merged with one of its chief competitors in the defense field, McDonnell Douglas, as part of an attempt to further diversify and shield the company from the vagaries of the passenger-plane market. This didn't entirely succeed. A sharp downturn in air-passenger traffic occurred in the year following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, which also resulted in fewer airplane orders. In the years following the attacks, Boeing laid off nearly 30,000 people and the company's Washington workforce dropped to around 54,000. This happened while the state was still reeling from a shocking announcement in May 2001: Boeing was moving its corporate headquarters to Chicago. Could this spell the beginning of the end for aerospace in Washington? The Boeing president fueled the paranoia by saying, "We don't want to be off in a corner of America" (Newhouse, 197).

The executives packed up and left, creating an upper tier far removed from the nuts and bolts of the business. Yet the headquarters of the Boeing Commercial Airplanes unit of the company remained in Seattle, and the airplanes were still being churned out in Everett and Renton. No matter where the corporate suites were, the airplanes still had to be assembled in a state with a trained workforce that knew how to build them.

In 2004 the workforce was once again at low ebb -- about a hundred thousand Boeing jobs had vanished in the Puget Sound area since the 9/11 attacks, for total employment of just above 52,000 in Washington -- and spirits were even lower. Aerospace seemed to be in a slow decline and high tech seemed to be soaring. "By then, Boeing was widely seen as peripheral, an ex-spouse who is still hanging around the neighborhood" (Newhouse, 199). Then, once again, Boeing bounced back. Another new and innovative airplane, the midsize Boeing 787 Dreamliner, was conceived in 2003 and began production in Everett and -- ominously for Washington -- at a new plant in South Carolina. The 787's launch was delayed until 2011, but by then it was already what the company website called the "fastest selling wide-body airplane in history" ("Historical Snapshot"). Boeing was once again outselling Airbus.

The 787 reflected the company's new way of making airplanes. More of its manufacturing than ever was outsourced to suppliers. Many of these were huge overseas companies, such as Japan's Mitsubishi, Fuji, and Kawasaki. Hundreds of others were spread all over the Puget Sound region and the rest of Washington. The 787 was especially innovative in its use of composites -- carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic -- to replace aluminum. About half of the plane's primary structure, including the fuselage and wing, were made of composite materials. Partly because of this, a composites industry -- a labor-intensive manufacturing process -- sprang up in Washington.

Several developments in 2011 signaled a new aerospace boom in Washington. In February, after a long and controversial competition with Airbus, Boeing won a U.S. Air Force contract to build a new long-range aerial-refueling tanker, the KC-46, based on the Boeing 767. An estimated 179 of these began production in Everett. In addition, Boeing announced a new version of the 737, its bestselling model, to be called the 737 MAX. All the while, the current 737 versions, including the 737-900, were still hot sellers. In 2012 the 737 in all versions became the first commercial jet to surpass the 10,000 mark in sales. The Renton plant began producing 737s at the remarkable rate of 42 per month. Total Boeing employment was at around 165,000, of which about 77,000 were in Washington. The number of aircraft ordered by customers went above 800 in 2011, compared with fewer than 300 just two years earlier, and then well above 1,000 in 2012. Most significantly, Boeing's Washington employment numbers were climbing, to a peak of 87,000 in 2012. Washington employment would fluctuate slightly over the next few years but through mid-2015 had not dipped below 80,000.

Meanwhile Boeing had spawned a huge network of smaller companies that were suppliers to Boeing and the larger aerospace industry. Some of these were composites companies, such as Janicki Industries Inc. in Sedro-Woolley, Skagit County, and Hexcel Corporation in Kent. Some were electronics and engineering companies, such as Absolute Aviation Services in Spokane. Some had started as Boeing-owned companies and had been sold along the way, such as Triumph Composite Systems in Spokane. The nonprofit trade organization Pacific Northwest Aerospace Alliance represented more than 500 companies.

Yet by 2013 anxiety was once again building throughout the state about the future of this crucial part of the state's economy. Boeing hinted that the new 777X project might be moved to South Carolina, Utah, or Texas. In November 2013 the Washington State Legislature held a weeklong special session devoted exclusively to coming up with a package of tax incentives, infrastructure improvements, and worker-training programs aimed at keeping the project in the state. Legislators subsequently passed $9 million in tax breaks for Boeing and $8 million for aerospace training. The package was contingent on the 777X project remaining in Washington.

As a result, Boeing remained a robust linchpin of the state's economy, as it had been for most of its century of existence. As of July 2015, Boeing employed 80,145 people in Washington. The company had secured 1,535 airplane orders in 2014 and hundreds more through the middle of 2105. Production of the 777X was set to begin in 2017 -- in Everett. However, if Washington's aerospace history taught one clear lesson, it was this: At some point, the ride will once again get bumpy. This essay made possible by:
Air Washington

Restored 1928 Boeing 40C flying in formation with Boeing 787, 2010

The Boeing Company 100 Years of History

The Boeing Company, the world’s largest aerospace company and leading manufacturer of commercial jetliners, defense, space and security systems, has remained a tradition of aerospace leadership and innovation for over 100 years. With such a long history you may wonder where and how The Boeing Company and William Boeing, the company’s founder, first began.

In 1915 after crashing a Glenn Martin “Flying Birdcage” seaplane, Boeing realized he could combine efforts with his close friend and navy engineer, Cdr. George Conrad Westervelt to design and construct the B&W Seaplane. Next, Boeing incorporated Pacific Aero Products Co., which was renamed The Boeing Airplane Company. During this time he sent 2 new Model C’s to the Navy. They loved the design and ordered 50 more to use for WWI training, allowing Boeing the first break he needed to move to a larger facility.

The next break for Boeing came in 1923 when he entered a contest against Curtiss to develop a U.S. Army Air Service pursuit fighter. Although Curtiss finished first and was awarded the contract, Boeing continued to develop its own model, the PW-9 fighter which went on to make Boeing the leading manufacturer of fighters over the next decade.

During the 1930’s Boeing reached several milestones. They created their first passenger plane, joined with Pacific Air Transport, and changed their name to United Aircraft and Transport Corporation. Their Model 40 mail plane won the U.S. Post Office’s contract. Unfortunately, shortly thereafter the Air Mail Act of 1934 forced the company to split into three smaller entities. The split caused William Boeing to sell off his shares leaving Clairmont “Claire” L. Egtvedt as President and Chairman.

Throughout the 1940’s the company was changing and building bigger planes. The Boeing 314 Clipper took its first transoceanic flight as the world’s largest civil aircraft. They also completed the Model 307 Stratoliner which was based off the B-17 Bomber used during WWII. Throughout the war Boeing cooperated with other aircraft companies to produce over 350 planes each month and they became a large employer of women workers whose husbands had gone to war.

After the war Boeing adapted its strategies to sell military derivatives of their Stratocruiser like the C-97 and KC-97. They became a major producer of small turbine engines during the 1950s and 1960s as an effort to expand their product base past military aircrafts after WWII.

In 1970, the first 747 took its first commercial flight with Pan American World Airways, changing the airline industry by offering a larger seating capacity than any other airliner. A plant the size of 40 football fields was needed for its production.

By the 1980’s Boeing’s commercial aircraft and military versions had become basic equipment of airlines and air forces. As the numbers of passengers increased, Boeing developed new models with higher capacities to compete with other manufacturers. They also participated with work on the space shuttle and became a contractor for the International Space Station program.

In 1994 Boeing introduced the most modern commercial jet airliner of its time, the 777. It was the first airliner entirely created by computer-aided design techniques and was an important milestone in their history. Boeing later released several revamped versions of its 737, one of which became the fastest-selling version of the 737 in history.

Entering a new millennium, Boeing decided to expand its presence in aerospace and satellite communications by purchasing Hughes Electronics, the original pioneers of satellite communications. In recent years, they’ve entered several joint ventures allowing them to complete more projects for notable institutions like NASA and the U.S. Navy.

From crashed seaplanes to International Space Station contracting, Boeing has come a very long way. They’ve evolved whenever needed to truly become a premier aerospace manufacturer. MSP Aviation, Inc, in Bloomington, Indiana is a distributor of Boeing parts with over a decade of business relations. They’re proud to offer the finest commercially manufactured products to their clients and are eager to see Boeing continue to adapt and introduce new and improved products.

Quick History of The Boeing Company

Washingtonians know that Boeing has a strong presence in the state. Whether you work there, went on a school tour, or hear about them in the news, the company has a large impact on the Puget Sound. The Boeing Company is an established entity in Seattle and has roots that go back over 100 years. In March 1910, William E. Boeing bought Heath’s shipyard in Seattle on the Duwamish River, which later became his first airplane factory. Boeing was incorporated in Seattle by William Boeing, on July 15, 1916, as “Pacific Aero Products Co.” Today, Boeing is the largest private employer in Washington. Currently, nearly half of Boeing’s global workforce is located here in the state. In this are the company is committed to building the single-aisle 737 MAX, with orders for more than 4,000 airplanes.

The Company in interwoven in the Puget Sound community in so many different ways. The Boeing Company made its first charitable contribution in 1917 when a gift from William E. Boeing helped the University of Washington build the state’s first wind tunnel. Since July 1st 2017, the current CEO is Dennis Muilenburg. More than a century later Boeing employees and retirees contribute more than $50 million annually to approximately 200 Washington organizations dedicated to improving the lives of people in this state. In 2016 Boeing, employees and retirees contributed more than $50 million to community organizations and donated more than 250,000 volunteer hours. Additionally, more than 100 Boeing executives serve on non-profit boards throughout the Puget Sound region. Boeing also offers a Washington New Letter so you can keep up with news and events. Boeing is well invested in Washington state and serves the people who live here to enrich and progress communities.

Boeing is committed to Washington state and has invested billions of dollars in their future here. That commitment extends from helping educate the next generation of aerospace workers to implement changes in The Boeing Renton factory to facilitate future production of the 737 MAX. It also includes expansion of delivery centers in Everett and Seattle and construction of massive new buildings to house, cutting-edge technologies being developed for the 777X. Boeing has a clear strategy and commitment to protecting the environment. As a technology and innovation leader, they continually improve the environmental performance of their products and services to further reduce fuel use, carbon, and the industry’s ecological footprint.

If you are a plane lover or want to learn more about the company history, located approximately 25 miles north of Seattle, The Future of Flight Aviation Center & Boeing Tour is the only public tour of a commercial jet assembly plant in North America. Explore the interactive exhibits and displays in our 28,000-square-foot Aviation Center Gallery then take a 90-minute tour of the Boeing plant where you can watch 747s, 777s, or 787 Dreamliners being assembled right before your eyes. People come from out of town for this tour, and if you’re a local and have never been, it’s a great way to learn more about a company that drives a lot of the local economy and is invested in the success of local communities. There is a minimum height requirement of 4 feet for children participating in the Boeing Tour. To avoid disappointment, please make sure to check the height before purchasing tickets. This restriction is strictly enforced. ADA accessible tours are offered twice daily. Call in advance to ensure proper accommodations. 1-800-464-1476 or ask any questions.

The Boeing Company is an American multinational corporation that designs, manufactures, and sells airplanes, rotorcraft, rockets, and satellites worldwide. The company also provides leasing and product support services. Boeing is among the most significant global aircraft manufacturers, and it is the second-largest defense contractor in the world based on 2015 revenue.

William Boeing: The Story of a Visionary Aircraft Manufacturer

William Boeing was a visionary entrepreneur and pioneer in the field of aircraft manufacturing. Guided by his steady hand, a small airplane manufacturing company was able to grow into a massive corporation, engaged in a number of related industries. And though legislation after the Great Depression forced him to disperse the corporation and sell his interests in the Boeing Airplane Company, he never lost his passion for aviation. During World War 2, he continued to consult with the company that bore his name and lived long enough to see that company enter the jet age. William Boeing has been described as both private, and a perfectionist who insisted on getting the facts straight. Outside his office, on the wall, was a placard that read:

1. There is no authority except facts.

2. Facts are obtained by accurate observation.

3. Deductions are to be made only from facts.

4. Experience has proved the truth of these rules.

The Early Life and Background of William Boeing

William Edward Boeing was born on October 1st, 1881, in Detroit, Michigan.

His father, Wilhelm, came from a respected and well-to-do German family. However, at the age of 20, after serving a year in the German military, young Wilhelm decided he was going to leave his hometown in Hohenlimburg and emigrate to the United States to seek adventure and his fortune. He found work as a farm laborer, but soon met and joined forces with Karl Ortmann, a lumberman, and his future father-in-law. Wilhelm bought a large section of timberland, and the associated mineral rights, in Minnesota’s Mesabi Range, the first of many such purchases that established him as a timber and mining baron. He also held positions as the director of the Peoples Savings Bank, president of the Galvin Brass and Iron Works, and a shareholder in the Standard Life Insurance Company.

Wilhelm Boeing, 1880

Tragically, Wilhelm died of influenza in 1890, at age 42. He left behind his wife Marie, and three children, of whom the eight year old William Edward was the oldest. Marie eventually remarried, taking on the name of Owsley, and it is said that William had a strained relationship with his father-in-law. William was sent overseas to attend school in Vevey, Switzerland, but after a year, he returned to the United States and continued his education in both public and private schools.

William attended the Sheffield Scientific School at Yale from 1899 to 1902 but did not graduate. In 1903, he decided to leave college and travel West, to Grays Harbor, Washington. Here, starting with land he inherited, William taught himself the logging business and began building a new fortune. He was successful and began purchasing more timberland and financing expeditions into the surrounding areas, including Alaska. In 1908, ready to expand his business, William moved to Seattle and established the Greenwood Timber Company. In 1910, after developing a taste for boating, he bought the Heath Shipyard on the Duwamish River.

William Boeing Discovers the World of Aviation

My firm conviction from the start has been that science and hard work can lick what appear to be insurmountable difficulties. I’ve tried to make the men around me feel, as I do, that we are embarked as pioneers upon a new science and industry in which our problems are so new and unusual that it behooves no one to dismiss any novel idea with the statement that it can’t be done. – William Boeing

It was around this time that William was first introduced to airplanes. In 1909, during the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition held in Seattle, he saw a manned airplane fly for the first time. This sparked a fascination with aircraft, and in 1910, he traveled south to attend the Los Angeles International Airmeet, the first major air show in the US. Here, he approached most of the aviators asking for a ride and was turned down by all of them but French aviator Louis Paulhan. Boeing waited for three days for the promised ride, before learning that Paulhan had already left the meet, moving on to give an exhibition in Salt Lake City, Utah. Many consider the ride that Paulhan didn’t give William Boeing to be the greatest missed opportunity of his life.

Four years after his visit to Los Angeles, William was introduced to US Navy Lieutenant Conrad Westervelt. They became fast friends and later that year, both finally had the opportunity to experience flying in a Curtiss-type hydroplane, piloted by Terah Maroney. They took turns flying above Lake Washington with Maroney, and afterward, decided that they could build a better airplane.

William began exchanging information with other aviators and eventually figured the first step was to learn to fly himself. He applied to the Glenn L. Martin School in Los Angeles for training and began taking a course there in August of 1915. After completing the course, he ordered a plane from the Martin factory known as the Model TA.

The machine was delivered to me in October of 1915, and, being convinced that there was a definite future in aviation, I became interested in the construction as well as the flying of aircraft. Enlisting a group of technical assistants, less than a dozen men in all, work was begun in designing the first Boeing plane. -William Boeing

Original Boeing location on shores of Lake Union.

During that time, William and his small group were working out of a combined factory and hangar space located on the shore of Lake Union. On June 15th, 1916, they made a test flight of the first Boeing plane, a seaplane / biplane officially called the B&W Model 1 (the initials referred to Boeing and Westervelt), but affectionately referred to as Bluebill. This aircraft, roughly 26 feet long, flew for 900 feet on the first flight. Though they may not have known it at the time, this was the birth of what would become one of the world’s largest aerospace companies.

The Boeing Airplane Company

It is a matter of great pride and satisfaction to me to realize that within the short space of 12 years, an infant company with a personnel of less than a dozen men, has grown to be the largest plant in America, devoted solely to the manufacture of aircraft, and at the present time employing approximately 1,000 men. – William Boeing

A month later, on July 15th, 1916, William Boeing and Conrad Westervelt founded Pacific Aero Products. Later that year, Westervelt, still serving in the US Navy, was transferred to the east coast. He left his position at Pacific Aero Products but sensing that it was becoming more and more likely the US would become directly involved in World War 1, he pushed William to apply for government contracts to supply the Navy with seaplanes. William was able to secure the contract, but he was missing a key part of the aircraft manufacturing process: He needed engineers.

In a clever move, Boeing addressed this problem by offering to build a wind tunnel for the University of Washington if, in return, they would establish a course for aeronautical engineering and send the most qualified graduates to Pacific Aero Products.

Shortly after the US officially joined the war, William decided to change the name of the business, and on May 9th, 1917, Pacific Aero Products became known as Boeing Airplane Company. Boeing shipped two new Model Cs to Pensacola, Florida, where they were demoed for the Navy. The Navy was impressed enough that they ordered an additional 50 Model Cs. In order to meet this demand, the company moved into the facilities at the Heath Shipyard, which became known as Boeing Plant 1.

After World War 1 came to a close, Boeing’s government contracts were canceled, and the aviation industry as a whole came to a near-standstill. This was in part because a surplus of cheap, used military aircraft flooded the market, and many aircraft manufacturers, including Boeing, were unable to sell new aircraft. In order to survive and keep from closing, Boeing was forced to diversify, and start selling, among other things, furniture, counter tops, phonograph cases and flat-bottomed boats called “Sea Sleds.”

It wasn’t long, however, before William found a new path for his company. Airmail was in its infancy, and former Army pilot Eddie Hubbard approached William with the idea of starting an international airmail route between Seattle and British Columbia. The government agreed to a trial period, and on March 3rd, 1919, Boeing made their first international air mail delivery. Though it was a success, after the trial period ended, some of William’s advisors convinced him to pass on the contract and re-focus instead on building airplanes. William, in turn, convinced Hubbard that he should pursue the contract.

William Boeing in 1920

By 1921, Boeing Airplane Company started to show a profit from both repairing military aircraft and designing and building new ones. Over the next decade, Boeing would become a leading manufacturer of fighter airplanes. As his company started experiencing new success, so did William personally, as he met and married Bertha Potter Paschall in 1921.

In 1925, legislation passed that opened air mail contracts to the public, and in 1927, Hubbard again approached William and convinced him to bid on the route between San Francisco and Chicago. In a move displaying incredible foresight, he was able to win the bid for the contract by deciding to use an air-cooled engine rather than a traditional water-cooled engine in Boeing’s Model 40A mailplanes.

The contract required William to have 26 airplanes in service by July 1st, 1927, and in order to accomplish this, he provided a $500,000 bond drawn from his own personal money. The Model 40A, in addition to carrying mail, also had an enclosed cabin that could carry two passengers. So for this venture, William founded a new business, an airline company called Boeing Air Transport. In the first year of operation, BAT delivered an estimated 1,300 tons of mail and carried 6,000 passengers. In 1929, William acquired Pacific Air Transport and merged it with Boeing Airplane Company and Boeing Air Transport. The resulting company was called United Aircraft and Transport Corporation, and in 1929, they acquired engine manufacturer Pratt and Whitney, Hamilton Standard Propeller Company, Chance Vought, and later in 1930, National Air Transport.

This mega corporation appeared set to rule the aviation industry until the US government stepped in. Accusing William Boeing of developing a monopoly, the government passed the Air Mail Act on June 12th, 1934, which, among other things, forced aviation companies to separate airline operations from development and manufacturing. William was forced to split United Aircraft and Transport Corporation into three separate entities. They were:

  • United Aircraft Corporation, which handled manufacturing in the eastern US, and is now United Technologies Corporation.
  • Boeing Airplane Company, which handled manufacturing in the western US, and is now The Boeing Company. , which took over the airline operations.

Retirement from Aviation

After his company was split into the different entities, Boeing resigned as the chairman and sold his stock. Shortly after this, on June 20th, 1934, he was awarded the Daniel Guggenheim Medal for aeronautical achievement.

Now that I am retiring from active service in aircraft manufacturing and air transportation, to be so greatly honored as to be recipient of the Daniel Guggenheim Medal is a real climax of my life. As the past years devoted to aircraft activities have been filled with real romance, the many forward projects now in the making will continue to keep me on the sidelines as a keen and interested observer. – William Boeing

After this, William began devoting most of his time to other pursuits, such as breeding racehorses. He did, however, keep his promise to stay in touch with friends and colleagues in the aviation industry. He served as an advisor to Boeing Airplane Company during World War 2, and was on hand again in 1954 for the rollout of the “Dash-80.” This became known as the Boeing 707, Boeing Airplane Company’s first jet airliner, and the first commercially successful jet airliner.

On September 28, 1956, William Boeing suffered a heart attack while onboard his yacht Taconite and was declared dead on arrival. He was 74 years old, just three days away from his 75th birthday. No formal funeral was held, and his family scattered his ashes into the sea off the coast of British Columbia, where he spent much of his time sailing.

On December 15th, 1966, William Boeing was inducted into the Aviation Hall of Fame in Dayton, Ohio, “for outstanding contributions to aviation by his successful organization of a network of airline routes and the production of vitally important military and commercial aircraft.

William Boeing and Eddie Hubbard after flying the first international mail route.


Boeing Field was Seattle's main passenger airport from its construction in 1928 until Seattle–Tacoma International Airport (SEA) began operations in the late 1940s, with the exception of its use for military purposes during World War II. The Boeing Company continues to use the field for testing and delivery of its airplanes, and it is still a regional cargo hub. It is used by Air Force One when the President of the United States visits the Seattle area.

The August 1946 OAG lists 24 United Airlines weekday departures, 10 weekly flights on Northwest Airlines and several Pan Am Douglas DC-3s a week to Juneau via Annette Island Airport which was the airfield serving Ketchikan at the time. Northwest moved to SEA in 1947, United moved in 1949, and Pan Am in 1953. [2] West Coast Airlines was operating scheduled passenger Douglas DC-3 service from the airport by November 1946 and served Boeing Field for many years. [3] West Coast successors Air West followed by Hughes Airwest operated scheduled passenger flights including McDonnell Douglas DC-9-30 jet service until 1971 when Hughes Airwest moved its service to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. [4] West Coast began operating Douglas DC-9-10 jet service from Boeing Field in 1968. [5]

Boeing Field has one passenger airlines. JSX (terminated service to Seattle in 2020), and Kenmore Air with daily flights to Friday Harbor and Eastsound/Orcas Island. Before 2019, the last scheduled passenger jets were operated by Hughes Airwest with McDonnell Douglas DC-9-30s in 1971. A proposal by Southwest Airlines in June 2005 was submitted to King County to relocate from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport to Boeing Field, but was rejected by King County Executive Ron Sims in October. A similar proposal by Alaska Airlines (a response to the Southwest proposal) was also rejected. Southwest Airlines said it wanted to avoid the heavy fees at Sea-Tac due to its expansion program.

The transfer of ownership of Boeing Field from King County to the Port of Seattle was proposed in 2007 as part of a land swap with land owned by the Port. [6]

The National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2011–2015 called it a primary commercial service airport. [7] Federal Aviation Administration records say the airport had 34,597 passenger boardings (enplanements) in calendar year 2008, [8] 35,863 in 2009 and 33,656 in 2010. [9]

The airport covers 634 acres (257 ha) at an elevation of 21 feet (6 m). It has two asphalt runways: 14R/32L is 10,007 by 200 feet (3,050 x 61 m) and 14L/32R is 3,709 by 100 feet (1,131 x 30 m). [1] In the year ending January 1, 2019 the airport had 183,268 aircraft operations, average 502 per day: 79% general aviation, 15% air taxi, 6% airline, and <1% military. 384 aircraft were then based at this airport: 229 single-engine, 40 multi-engine, 88 jet, 26 helicopter, and 1 glider. [1] The runway numbers were updated from 13/31 to 14/32 in August 2017, due to shifting magnetic headings.

Boeing Company Edit

The Boeing Company has facilities at the airport. Final preparations for delivery of Boeing 737 aircraft after the first test flight are made at Boeing Field. [10] Boeing facilities at the airport have also included a paint hangar [11] and flight test facilities. [12] The initial assembly of the 737 was at Boeing Field in the 1960s because the factory in Renton was at capacity building the Boeing 707 and Boeing 727. After 271 aircraft, production moved to Renton in late 1970. [13] [14]

Museum of Flight Edit

The Museum of Flight is on the southwest corner of the field. Among the aircraft on display is the first Boeing 747, the third Boeing 787, and an ex-British Airways Concorde, lent to the museum from BA, a supersonic airliner that landed at Boeing Field on its first visit to Seattle on November 15, 1984. [15] Aircraft on the airfield can be seen from the museum.

Police and fire response Edit

The King County International Airport contracts with the King County Sheriff's Office for police services. Deputies assigned to the airport wear a mix of both Police and Fire uniforms, turnouts etc., which includes single Police, Fire/ARFF patch, and drive King County International Airport Police patrol cars. There are currently 17 patrol officers/sergeants and one chief assigned full-time to the airport. Officers assigned to the airport are also required to obtain a Washington State Fire Fighter One certification and an Emergency Medical Technician certification.

Passenger Edit

Cargo Edit

Previous airline service Edit

In 1945, Northwest Airlines was operating all flights from the airport with 21-passenger seat Douglas DC-3s with direct service to such major cities as Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN, Milwaukee, Chicago, Detroit and New York City with these eastbound flights making intermediate stops enroute at smaller cities such as Spokane, Great Falls, Missoula, Helena, Billings and other small cities. [16] United Airlines was operating Douglas DC-6, Douglas DC-4 and Douglas DC-3 service from Boeing Field in 1947 with direct, no change of plane flights to San Francisco, Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, Denver, Boise, Oakland, Burbank, San Diego, Vancouver, B.C., Chicago, Cleveland, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and New York City. [17] At this same time in 1947, United was also operating 20 nonstop flights on a daily basis to Portland, OR as well as a daily nonstop DC-6 flight to San Francisco named "The California" which continued on to Los Angeles on a one stop basis with the airline also operating daily direct service from the airport to smaller cities in Washington state, Oregon, California, Idaho, Nebraska and Iowa. [17] In 1950, Pan American World Airways (Pan Am) was operating weekly nonstop Boeing 377 Stratocruiser service from Boeing Field nonstop to Honolulu with this flight continuing on to Manila where connections were offered to Pan Am Douglas DC-4 flights to Hong Kong and Singapore. [18] Pan Am was also operating Douglas DC-4 service from the airport in 1950 nonstop to Fairbanks, AK with direct one stop service to Nome, AK as well as DC-4 nonstop service to Ketchikan, AK (via the Annette Island Airport) with flights continuing on to Juneau, AK followed by Whitehorse, Yukon in Canada and then on to Fairbanks. [18]

In later years, West Coast Airlines operated scheduled passenger flights from Boeing Field to Idaho, Oregon, Washington state, northern California, western Montana, northern Utah, and Calgary in Alberta. The airline's April 1968 timetable lists nonstop service to Aberdeen, WA/Hoquiam, WA, Boise, ID, Olympia, WA, Pasco, WA, Portland, OR, Salt Lake City, UT, Spokane, WA, Tacoma, WA, Wenatchee, WA and Yakima, WA operated with primarily with Fairchild F-27 propjets as well as Douglas DC-3 and Piper Navajo prop aircraft but also with Douglas DC-9-10 jets to Portland, Boise and Salt Lake City . [19] West Coast, which had its headquarters in the Seattle area and operated all of its flights from Boeing Field, merged with Pacific Air Lines and Bonanza Air Lines to form Air West (later renamed Hughes Airwest following its acquisition by Howard Hughes in 1970) which continued serving Boeing Field until it moved its passenger service to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) in 1971. Before the move to SEA, in January 1971 Hughes Airwest was operating nonstop McDonnell Douglas DC-9-30 jet service from the airport to Portland, Spokane and Pasco as well as direct, no change of plane DC-9-30 service to Boise, Calgary, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Twin Falls, Lewiston, Phoenix and Tucson, and was also operating Fairchild F-27 turboprop service from BFI at this time to Astoria, Bend, Ephrata, Hoquiam, Klamath Falls, Lewiston, Olympia, Pasco, Portland, Pullman, Sacramento, Spokane, Tacoma, Walla Walla, Wenatchee and Yakima. [20]

Aeroamerica, an airline based at Boeing Field from 1971 to 1982 which operated Boeing 707 and Boeing 720 jetliners, flew nonstop to Spokane, Washington in 1978. [21] Air Oregon, a commuter airline, operated Swearingen Metro propjets in 1979 nonstop to its hub in Portland, Oregon. [22] Helijet, a helicopter airline based at Vancouver International Airport in British Columbia, operated scheduled Sikorsky S-76 helicopter flights to the Victoria Harbour Heliport in British Columbia with direct one stop service to Helijet's Vancouver Harbour Heliport located in the downtown Vancouver, B.C. area. [23]

JSX began service between Boeing Field and Oakland International Airport on July 1, 2019 using Embraer 135 regional jets. [24] As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, JSX announced in April 2020 that it would indefinitely cease its flights from Boeing Field. [25]