Birth of a giant, and a giant rivalry
The Boeing Company, William Boeing, and Pilot Eddie Hibbard all solidified their place in history in 1919, delivering mail internationally between Canada and the U.S.—first while flying a Boeing C-700 and later a Boeing B-1.
The historic Boeing B-1 aircraft was partially constructed of wood laminate veneer, plywood, and spruce. When aviation geeks think of wood planes, Howard Hughes no doubt comes to mind; yet, William Boeing enjoyed a long, prosperous history in the timber, furniture-making, and wood-infused aircraft.
Would you have felt confident and comfortable flying in or piloting a wood airplane?
When it comes to the Boeing B-1, with its laminate and plywood, this geek is amazed at the quality. The truest testament to the B-1’s construction materials and workmanship comes in the form of miles flown–350,000 to be exact and a figure that was unheard of at the time. The B-1 required six engine replacements over eight years of service on the international airmail route.
The next major milestone for The Boeing Company came on 24 May 1920, when the company’s BB-L6 took to the air. The BB-L6 was the first to conquer the heights of Mount Rainer, a towering stratovolcano that measures 14,411 feet (4,392 miles).
This geek is fascinated by aviation history. Stay tuned for insights on the birth of the highly competitive aircraft manufacturing landscape!
Posted April 26th, 2012, by J VanDomelen
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