William E. Boeing registered his first aircraft company as Pacific Aero Products co. in 1916, but re-registered it as the Boeing Airplane Company the very next year. The business developed with land-based and marine aircraft, by 1923 producing fighter aircraft for the US Army and Navy. Larger civil and airmail aircraft followed from 1927 and in 1929 Boeing joined with other aircraft manufacturers to form United Aircraft & Transport, acquiring Stearman among others and setting up Boeing Canada. The US Air Mail Act of 1934 broke up the conglomerate, leaving Boeing still owning Stearman. At this point 'Bill' Boeing retired and was succeeded by Clairmont L. Egvedt, started the move into stressed-skin cantilever monoplanes. The Boeing Airplane Company formed a subsidiary, the Boeing Aircraft Company in 1933 for aircraft manufacture. The Model 299 in 1935 led to the B-17 Fortress and Model 307 Stratoliner, the first pressurized transport aircraft. Next came the Clipper flying boats and the Superfortress. New plants were set up at Wichita and Renton for massive production. In 1947 Boeing Aircraft merged into its parent company, and jet bombers appeared, subsequently USAF tanker/transports and the commercial 707 with derivatives. Diversification in the 1950s to include missiles, spacecraft, gas turbine engines and hydrofoil ships was reflected by a name change in 1961 to The Boeing Company. At great financial risk the 747 was launched in 1966, but the gamble paid off, followed by further large commercial jet transport aircraft. Currently the largest company operating unit is the Boeing Commercial Airplane Group. Several other Divisions deal with military aircraft, helicopters, missiles and space hardware. Along the way, Boeing acquired Lockheed, Grumman, Piasecki and Vertol, with close co-operation with Sikorsky and Bell.
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