Boeing model 1

William E Boeing was born in 1881. He went to Yale University and upon graduation with an engineering degree in 1903, he went to the West Coast and interest in aviation began. He went to Grays Harbor WA, lived there for five years and then he moved to Seattle in 1908. Two years later, he went down to Los Angeles for an air meeting. He returned home in Seattle disappointed because he couldn't get an airplane ride, but he was really determined in learning about aviation, a then new science.
He met George C Westervelt, a Navy Engineer who had studied aeronautical engineering in Massachusetts Institute of Techonlogy. Boeing and Westervelt started then working together in constructing a new biplane, they were both convinced they would build a better airplane than anything that was then available. While Westervelt stayed in Seattle to work on this new airplane, Boeing returned to California in 1915 to take a flying lesson. Upon returning he resumed working on the new airplane with his work mate, Westervelt. I think that after taking a flying lesson, Boeing learned further about aeronautical technology and that's probably how he pursued designing his first airplane.
This new airplane, which was made of wood, was named B & W after the initials. B & W stands for Boeing & Westervelt. It was called model 1 because it was the first model ever designed by the Boeing company. Westervelt left to the East Coast and Boeing stayed in Seattle. William Boeing founded his company, Boeing Corporation, in 1916. He flew this airplane himself. Two B & W's were built. Boeing tried to sell his first airplane to the Navy but it didn't work, however he managed to sell it in New Zealand which would use it in an air mail company. In the 1910's, aviation companies were founded to carry mail, this was the beginning of commercial aviation.

What was a small company in 1916, with only a few dozen employees on the payroll, is now the largest aeronautical firm in the world with some sixty thousand employees on the payroll. William Boeing died in 1956. He saw, not long before he passed away, his company entering the jet age with the then new model 707.
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