100 Glorious Years of Boeing

 

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In March 1910, William E. Boeing took possession of a shipyard in Seattle along the Duwamish River, and it was this humble beginning that later became his first airplane factory.
Boeing was incorporated in Seattle by William Boeing, on July 15, 1916, as “Pacific Aero Products Co”. William Boeing, who studied at Yale University, worked initially in the timber industry, where he became wealthy and learned about wooden structures. This knowledge proved invaluable in his subsequent design and assembly of airplanes.
Boeing sought the assistance of George Conrad Westervelt, a U.S. Navy engineer and the two produced the B&W Seaplane, the first Boeing airplane, which was assembled in the lakeside hangar. Many of Boeing’s early planes were seaplanes. On May 9, 1917, the company became the “Boeing Airplane Company”.
100 years later, Boeing is the world’s largest aerospace company that has been selling airplanes, rockets, and space capsules to some of the biggest companies all over the world, with clients including the U.S. military, and even NASA. Boeing has had some major accomplishments in its time. From the Enola Gay and the first Air Force One to the most well-known passenger jet, the 747.
As Boeing celebrates its 100th year since inception, Air India Express commemorates the landmark occasion with a series of photographs detailing the history of this amazing company that has but thousands of wings in the sky and carried millions of people across the mountains, the oceans and the seven continents and even into the final frontier, space.

Boeing's first factory set up by William E. Boeing who converted an old shipyard in Seattle along the the Duwamish River.
Boeing’s first factory set up by William E. Boeing who converted an old shipyard in Seattle along the Duwamish River.
Boeing's first aircraft, the B&W Seaplane.
Boeing’s first aircraft, the B&W Seaplane.

Built in a boathouse on Seattle’s Lake Union, the B&W pontoon seaplane was the first airplane model produced by William Boeing and his partner, Navy Lt. George Conrad Westervelt.

Boeing 247D flying over New York
Boeing 247D flying over New York
The 247D Passenger Cabin.
The 247D Passenger Cabin.

Boeing’s 247D, an all-metal, twin-engine aircraft was considered to be the first modern passenger plane of the era.

 

WWII Bombers
WWII Bombers
Two USAF Boeing B-17-B bombers in flight circa 1941
Two USAF Boeing B-17-B bombers in flight circa 1941

Demands for military airplanes during World War II led to an unprecedented increase in production for all American aviation companies, particularly Boeing.

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In aviation factories, women replaced the men who were away fighting in World War II. By the war’s end, over 40 percent of Boeing’s workforce was female.

Electric motors being assembled at Boeing plant in 1943.
Electric motors being assembled at Boeing plant in 1943.
View of Atlantic and Azores from transatlantic Pan Am Clipper.
View of Atlantic and Azores from transatlantic Pan Am Clipper.
A scene before a test flight of Boeing 707-Tanker Transport, with mechanics and engineers holding ears as it taxies down the runway in 1954.
A scene before a test flight of Boeing 707-Tanker Transport, with mechanics and engineers holding ears as it taxies down the runway in 1954.
A scene before test flight of Boeing 707-Tanker Transport, with mechanics and engineers holding ears as it taxies down the runway.
A scene before test flight of Boeing 707-Tanker Transport, with mechanics and engineers holding ears as it taxies down the runway.
Prospective stewardesses during simulated flight mock-up of Boeing 707 at TWA Stewardess School, Kansas City.
Prospective stewardesses during simulated flight mock-up of Boeing 707 at TWA Stewardess School, Kansas City.
Mariner 10 spacecraft being built by Boeing in 1973.
Mariner 10 spacecraft being built by Boeing in 1973.
Dubbed the "Queen of the Skies," the iconic 747, the jewel in Boeing's crown, is known for its engineering achievements.
Dubbed the “Queen of the Skies,” the iconic 747, the jewel in Boeing’s crown, is known for its engineering achievements.
The Economy Class on the 747 in the mid 70s.
The Economy Class on the 747 in the mid-70s.

 

The 747's plush on-board lounge in the 1970s.
The 747’s plush onboard lounge in the 1970s.
Lancaster, California
Lancaster, California

The space shuttle orbiter Columbia placed atop a Boeing 747 for its flight to Kennedy Space Center in Florida from Edwards Air Force Base in Lancaster, California on March 8, 1979, ahead of the November 1979 orbital launch.

Mechanic inspecting a Boeing 767 engine at American Airlines' maintenance facility. (May 22 1989)
Mechanic inspecting a Boeing 767 engine at American Airlines’ maintenance facility. (May 22, 1989)
China Southern Airlines Boeing 777-200 passenger jet production facility. (1990)
China Southern Airlines Boeing 777-200 passenger jet production facility. (1990)
Cross-section of Boeing 777 plane under construction using a new modular design to improve use of space. (1993)
Cross-section of Boeing 777 plane under construction using a new modular design to improve the use of space. (1993)
Boeing 737 aircraft on final assembly lines in panorama inside Boeing plant. (1998)
Boeing 737 aircraft on final assembly lines in panorama inside Boeing plant. (1998)
Boeing 747 under construction, practically a cross-section of fusilage. (2000)
Boeing 747 under construction, practically a cross-section of the fuselage. (2000)

It wasn’t just the commercial airline industry that Boeing had tapped into, but also into the creation and production of military aircraft, particularly for the US Air Force.

The U.S. Navy designated Boeing's F/A-18 as the official Blue Angels jet.
The U.S. Navy designated Boeing’s F/A-18 as the official Blue Angels jet.
Boeing-Lockheed B2 Bomber created for the US Air Force.
Boeing-Lockheed B2 Bomber created for the US Air Force.

Meanwhile, Boeing continued to create air crafts that set the standard across the globe and unveiled their 777 aircraft. The 777 was the first commercial jet to be designed completely digitally

The Boeing 777 on its unveiling day being rolled out of Boeing Everett factory hangar.
The Boeing 777 on its unveiling day being rolled out of Boeing Everett factory hangar.

Boeing 747-409 Dreamlifter that carries other air crafts, shuttles and parts of crafts, landing at Paine Field, Washington.

Boeing Dreamlifter
Boeing Dreamlifter
2008 Photograph by Gregg Segal
2008 Photograph by Gregg Segal

Take a 747, cut the roof off and add about 10 feet in height, and you have the Boeing 787 Dreamlifter, a flying warehouse that shuttles wings from Japan, fuselage sections from Italy, South Carolina and Kansas to the Boeing factory in Everett.

Employees of Velizy, France-based Messier-Dowty roll out one of two main landing gear for the Boeing 787. In the center of the Japan-made tires are titanium stabilizers forged in Russia and machined in the U.K. That all connects to brakes made in Italy and China, wheels made in the U.S. and a central cylinder made in Canada of a steel with a tensile strength so great (120 tons per square inch) a match-stick-sized piece could pick up a car. 2008 Photograph by Gregg Segal
2008 Photograph by Gregg Segal

Employees of Velizy, France-based Messier-Dowty roll out one of two main landing gear for the Boeing 787. In the center of the Japan-made tires are titanium stabilizers forged in Russia and machined in the U.K. That all connects to brakes made in Italy and China, wheels made in the U.S. and a central cylinder made in Canada of a steel with a tensile strength so great (120 tons per square inch) a match-stick-sized piece could pick up a car.

A380 being assembled at the Boeing factory.
A380 being assembled at the Boeing factory.

 

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The entire 7-7 series of Boeing’s jetliners.

The entire 7-7 series of Boeing’s jetliners were on display for the 787 Dreamliner’s premiere. The airplanes were lined up numerically from the 707 (far right) to the 777 (far left) to mark the occasion of the 100th year of Boeing’s inception earlier in July and the unveiling of the 787 Dreamliner.

Boeing Everett hangar
Boeing Everett hangar

Boeing’s Everett plant in Washington was built to hold the 747. By volume, it is the largest building in the world.

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