Boeing Company History Timeline


The first two planes built were seaplanes, the Model B W. Westervelt was transferred to the East Coast before the first flight on June 15, 1916.

The Boeing Company was established by aviation pioneer William Edward Boeing on July 15th, 1916.

The company s first airplane, Model C two-place training seaplane, was designed in November 1916.


When the United States entered the first World War in 1917, the Navy purchased 51 out of 56 seaplanes built, making the model company s first financial success and establishing a long-standing partnership with the United States military.


In 1919 the Boeing B-1 made its first flight.


On May 24, 1920, the Boeing Model 8 made its first flight.


The next break for Boeing came in 1923 when he entered a contest against Curtiss to develop a United States Army Air Service pursuit fighter.


The Kelly Airmail Act of 1925 opened the way for private airmail delivery on a much wider scale.

Boeing also purchased Varney Airlines, which began operation in 1925 and won almost every mail contract it applied for until it became over-extended and had financial difficulties.

In 1925, Boeing built its Model 40 mail plane for the United States government to use on airmail routes.


The first airmail flight for the airline was on July 1, 1927.

In order to operate growing airmail business, the company founded Boeing Air Transport in 1927, that gave birth to United Airlines four years later.

In 1927, an improved version of this plane was built, the Model 40A which won the United States Post Office's contract to deliver mail between San Francisco and Chicago.


In 1929 a larger holding company was formed, the United Aircraft and Transportation Company.

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.


In 1930, the company built its first all-metal plane earlier craft featured fabric and wooden parts.

United Aircraft then purchased National Air Transport in 1930.


In 1933 the government conducted an investigation of fraud and other illegal practices in the airline industry.

The company, however, faced problems starting in 1933.


Public CompanyIncorporated July 19,1934 as Boeing Airplane CompanyEmployees 98,700Sales 16.34 billionMarket value 8.259 billionStock Index New York.

In 1934 he was recognized for his innovation in aeronautical research and development with the award of the Daniel Guggenheim medal, for successful pioneering and achievement in aircraft manufacturing and air transport.

In 1934 a government investigation of collusion in the airmail business led to a suspension of all contracts awarded.


Only in 1939, Boeing s rival, McDonnell Douglas Corporation created first profitable commercial airplane Douglas DC-3, used to carry over 90 of United States air travelers by the beginning of WW2.


By spring 1944, production of Boeing military aircraft ramped up so much that over 350 planes were built each month, mainly by women, whose husbands had gone to war.


Papers recovered in 1945 from a secret aeronautical research center in Germany contained data and designs for swept-back wings, which make a plane more aerodynamic near the speed of sound.


In 1949, the British company de Havilland built and flew the D.H. 106 Comet, the first commercial jet, which suffered a series of crashes.


In 1958, the United States airline Pan American World Airways launched a New York-London route with a refueling stopover in Newfoundland using the 707-120.

The trips could have been made British De Havilland Comet, French Sud Aviation Caravelle and Soviet Tupolev Tu-104. Therefore, in 1958, Boeing created the 707 - a four-engine airliner, capable of carrying 156 passengers on a transatlantic route.


As far back as 1959 Boeing had developed a prototype manned, reusable space vehicle similar to the Space Shuttle of two decades later.


Meanwhile, Boeing expanded its involvement in the defense market through the 1960 acquisition of Philadelphia-based Vertol Aircraft Corporation, a maker of military helicopters.

In 1960, the company bought Vertol Corporation, which at the time, was the biggest independent fabricator of helicopters.


The company completed the first test launch of a Minuteman missile at Cape Canaveral, Florida, in February 1961.

Boeing, which changed its name to The Boeing Company in 1961, enjoyed a large degree of success and profitability with the 707.


The company devoted its resources to the development of a number of other passenger jet models, including the 720 a modified 707 and the 727, which was introduced in 1964.


Douglas, eager not to be left out, introduced a similar two-engine model called the DC-9 in 1965.


In order to keep up with growing number of aircraft sales, in 1966 Boeing commenced the monumental engineering challenge - the construction of the Everett Factory.

In 1966, it began working on a supersonic transport SST . The plane would fly at almost three times the speed of sound more than 1,900 miles per hour and carry 175 passengers.


In 1967, Boeing developed the 737, a small, single-aisle plane, to meet the demand for short-range jetliners.


Boeing was also responsible for the first stage of the Saturn V Apollo rocket, which launched Apollo 8 in December 1968, the mission that took the first astronauts around the moon.


Boeing pushed the design envelope in 1969 with the 747 Jumbo Jet, the first commercial widebody and the world s largest jet airliner for the next 36 years.

By the time the 747 was first delivered in 1969, 160 orders had been placed for the jetliner.


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.

Airbus was established as a consortium of European plane makers in 1970.


Despite the support of Senator Henry Jackson, the United States Congress in 1971 voted not to fund further development of the SST. Shortly thereafter Boeing abandoned the project altogether.


First test-flown in 1972, the AWACS was a modified version of a 707 used by the military as an airborne early warning system.


Another key defense contract won by Boeing was for the air-launched cruise missile ALCM , which was first test-launched from a B-52 in 1976.


In 1978 Boeing started development of two new passenger jet models the 757 and the wide-body 767 intended to take the company into the 21st century.


In the aerospace division, Boeing won a 4 billion defense department contract in 1980 to manufacture the air-launched cruise missile.


The first NATO AWACS was delivered to West Germany in 1981.

The 767 made its first flight in 1981 while the 757 did likewise one year later.


Nevertheless, in 1990 Boeing chalked up record sales and net profits of 27.6 billion and 1.4 billion, respectively, and ended the year with a 97 billion backlog.

The commercial airline industry s downturn started in 1990, heralding brutal price wars and canceled aircraft orders.

The identified flaw not only resulted in grounded planes pending inspection, but opened up the possibility of investigation of Boeing's role in the explosion of a Philippine Airlines aircraft on a Manila runway in 1990, and TWA Flight 800 as well.

The Boeing company has been the leading aircraft manufacturer in the world for 30 consecutive years. It was also among the top three United States exporters for five consecutive years beginning in 1990.


Nonetheless, Boeing engineers are developing a new model, the 150-passenger 7J7, scheduled to fly in 1991.


Meanwhile, in 1993 NASA selected Boeing as the prime contractor for the International Space Station, which was called the largest international science and technology endeavor ever undertaken, and which was scheduled for completion in the early 21st century.


In 1994 Boeing introduced the most modern commercial jet airliner of its time, the 777.

Early in 1994, Shrontz announced that about 30,000 jobs one-fourth of the company s remaining workforce would be eliminated over the course of the year.


Boeing has had its share of labor problems, including a bitter strike that lasted 69 days in 1995, resulting in 2 billion in financial losses to the company as well as substantial trickle-down losses to the numerous sub-contractors and communities in which Boeing operates.

Boeing also made improvements to its most popular aircraft, including the 777, which was introduced in 1995.

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.


In 1996, it bought the defense and space division of Rockwell International for 3.2 billion.


wilhelm, steve. boeing commercial side still the growth engine. puget sound business journal, 3 january 1997.

boeing corp. moving ahead and flying high. the online investor, 4 august 1997. available at http ba spotlight.shtml.

In 1997, Boeing completed the largest merger in the aviation history by purchasing McDonnell Douglas Corporation for more than 13 billion.

Unfortunately, 1997 turned disastrous for Boeing for reasons wholly unrelated to its acquisition spree.

Boeing briefly shut down its production line in 1997 that same year the company had its first loss in more than fifty years.


wald, matthew l. checks of 737's show more damaged wiring. the new york times, 12 may 1998.

Additional charges were taken during 1998, but the company managed to post net income of 1.12 billion on sales of 56.15 billion thanks to the strong performance of its defense and space operations.


In 2000, Boeing acquired the satellite segment of Hughes Electronics.

Boeing entered the new millennium as the world's largest aerospace company. It made another major purchase in 2000, buying the space and communications division of Hughes Electronic Corporation.


In 2002, CEO Condit remained confident in Boeing's future.


In 2003, Airbus for the first time delivered more airplanes than Boeing.

Boeing was the main contractor of the station that, when completed, will have a total area covering two football fields. It is scheduled to be completed in 2003 and will take more than 40 launches to complete.


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.

Company Founded
Chicago, IL
Company Headquarter
William Boeing
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