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History

 

 

            William Boeing was the founder of the company. He made a large amount of money buy buying and selling forestland in Washington. Being rich, he decided to move to Los Angeles and went to the first American air meet in 1910. HE tried to get a ride in one of the airplanes, but the pilots wouldn’t let him. He left feeling a little bad, but he also wanted to learn as much as he could about aviation. He then met with a man by the name of George Conrad Westervelt. He was also interested with in the new field of aviation. They went on some flights and decided that they themselves should go into business building and selling airplanes.

            In 1915 Boeing returned to California to learn to fly and to discuss matters with Westervelt. Boeing told him to design a more practical new airplane. They then decided to build a new seaplane. Westervelt being a Navy man was stationed in the East before they were done with their aircraft. In 1916 Boeing had completed two seaplanes named B & Ws.

            Boeings Company took off and he kept making aircrafts. When WW1 erupted, he knew that the US was going to use planes in battle for the first time and they would need training airplanes. The Navy ordered 50 Model C airplanes. This was the first big order for Boeing.

            After the war, the production of airplanes almost came to a stand still. The military only needed a couple of airplanes and they were not ordering aircraft left and right like they were during the war. Also the demand for private aircraft declined. With nothing to sell, the Boeing Company was looking at an early death for their company that they had worked so hard to create.

Desperately trying to survive, the Boeing Company had to think quickly. They decided to expand their company and produce such things as woman’s dresses and furniture. This was truly a desperate step for the company, but it helped them to survive until planes were needed again. They tried to get the company going again by making mail trips with their planes. This worked on a small scale, but production didn’t really pick up until Charles Lindbergh made his flight across the Atlantic.

Antitrust legislation caused Boeing to have to slit into 4 different companies. Boeing Airplane Company was the main company that produced all of the airplanes. After this happened, William Boeing decided to leave the company. He retired a rich man. The new president of Boeing decided they should produce large passenger planes.

In the 1940’s WW2 was happening and the company was contracted to build many B-17 airplanes and others. This was a major turnaround for Boeing. After WW2, Boeing factories shut down and 70,000 people lost their jobs. It was due to the fact that airplanes simply were not needed anymore. Boeings next important production was when they started to produce jet aircrafts. Boeing also helped with the Apollo missions to space and to the moon. The Boeing Company moved away from all aspects except military contracts and passenger jets. This is still where the company is today.



 

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