Boeing is an American aerospace company that is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. It is the largest global aircraft manufacturer and the leading producer of commercial jetliners, military aircraft, and satellites. Boeing was founded in 1916 by William Boeing and has since become one of the biggest names in aerospace and defence.
Boeing is a leader in the production of commercial aircraft, with its iconic 737, 747, 767, 777, and 787 jetliners being some of the most recognizable airliners in the world. Boeing also builds the C-17 military transport aircraft and the V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft. In addition, Boeing designs and manufactures satellites for both commercial and military use.
Boeing is also a major supplier of defence systems, providing the U.S. Department of Defense with a wide range of military aircraft, missiles, and other defence systems. In addition, Boeing is also a major supplier of commercial and military helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
Boeing is committed to innovation and has been a leader in the development of new technologies, such as lightweight composite materials and fly-by-wire controls. Boeing is also a leader in the development of advanced avionics and flight deck systems and is a major supplier of avionics systems to airlines around the world.
Boeing is a major employer, with over 130,000 employees worldwide. The company has a strong commitment to safety and quality and is dedicated to delivering the highest quality products and services to customers.
In 1909, entrepreneur and Yale graduate William E. Boeing became fascinated with aeroplanes after seeing one at the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition in Seattle. In 1910, he bought the Heath Shipyard, a wooden boat manufacturing facility at the mouth of the Duwamish River, which would become his first aeroplane factory.
In 1915, Boeing travelled to Los Angeles to be taught flying by Glenn Martin and purchased a Martin "Flying Birdcage" seaplane. The Birdcage was damaged in a crash during testing, and when Martin informed Boeing that replacement parts would not become available for months, Boeing realised he could build his own plane in that amount of time. He put the idea to his friend George Conrad Westervelt, a U.S. Navy engineer, who agreed to work on an improved design and help build the new aeroplane, called the "B&W" seaplane. On June 15, 1916, the B&W took its maiden flight. Seeing the opportunity to be a regular producer of aeroplanes, Boeing incorporated his aeroplane manufacturing business as "Pacific Aero Products Co" on July 15, 1916.
The company's first success came in 1917 when hired engineer Wong Tsu designed the Boeing Model 2, which became a favourite of the American Navy towards the end of World War I.
In 1927, Boeing introduced the Model 40A, a biplane designed for airmail service. This was the first aeroplane designed specifically for airmail and marked Boeing's entry into the commercial aviation market. The Model 40A was reliable, fast, and efficient, and helped to establish Boeing as a leader in the aviation industry.
In 1928, Boeing merged with Pacific Aero Products Company, which provided the company with additional manufacturing capabilities and expertise. The new company was named Boeing Airplane Company and continued to grow and expand its operations in the years that followed.
After further successful production of new, purpose-built aeroplanes in the following decade, the company launched the 12-passenger Boeing 80 in 1928 the first aircraft ever built solely for the purpose of transporting passengers. In 1931, Boeing introduced the Model 247, which was the first modern airliner. The Model 247 was faster, more efficient, and more comfortable than previous aeroplanes and helped to revolutionize air travel. The Model 247 also helped to establish Boeing as a leading manufacturer of commercial airliners.
In 1933, Boeing introduced the Model 314 Clipper, which was the largest and most luxurious airliner of its time. The Clipper could carry up to 74 passengers and was equipped with sleeping berths, a dining room, and a lounge. The Clipper helped to establish the concept of long-distance air travel and paved the way for the development of modern jetliners.
During the 1930s, Boeing also continued to develop military aircraft, including the B-17 Flying Fortress bomber, which was introduced in 1938. The B-17 was one of the most important military aircraft of World War II and helped to establish Boeing as a leading manufacturer of military aircraft.
During World War II, Boeing was a major supplier of military aircraft to the U.S. armed forces. The company produced several important planes during this time, including the B-29 Superfortress bomber, which was used to drop atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.
After the war, Boeing shifted its focus back to commercial aviation, introducing several important planes during the 1950s and 1960s. In 1952, Boeing introduced the Model 367-80, which was the prototype for the KC-135 Stratotanker and the 707 airliners. The 707, which was introduced in 1958, was the first commercially successful jetliner and helped to establish Boeing as a major player in the commercial aviation industry.
In 1961, Boeing introduced the 727, which was the first trijet airliner. The 727 was designed for short- to medium-haul flights and became a popular place for airlines around the world. The 737, which was introduced in 1967, was another important plane for Boeing, as it was designed for the growing market of short-haul flights.
During the 1960s, Boeing also continued to develop military aircraft, including the B-52 Stratofortress bomber, which had its first flight in 1952 and remained in service throughout the Cold War. During World War II, Boeing built a large number of B-17 and B-29 bombers. After the war, it became a major producer of small turbine engines. In 1958, Boeing began delivery of its 707, the United States' first commercial jet airliner.
In the early 1970s, Boeing suffered from the simultaneous decline in Vietnam War military spending, the slowing of the space program as Project Apollo neared completion, the recession of 1969–70, and the company's $2 billion debt as it built the new 747 airliners.
In the 1980s, however, the economic situation began to improve. Spurred by competition from European newcomer Airbus, Boeing developed new aircraft and was an active contributor to the Space Shuttle program. It also assisted in wind power development with the experimental MOD-2 Wind Turbines for NASA and the United States Department of Energy, and the MOD-5B for Hawaii.
The 1990s saw major corporate developments for Boeing through key M&A operations. Some of these drew criticism for what was perceived to be financial opportunism which ignored the company's past values. There was also something of a culture clashes within the company, leading to weakened performance. For example, in October 2001, Boeing lost to its rival Lockheed Martin in the fierce competition for the multibillion-dollar Joint Strike Fighter contract. This was, of course, the same year that Boeing relocated its headquarters from Seattle to Chicago after the Illinois capital offered it tax breaks, and when four Boeing planes were hijacked by Al Quaeda fundamentalists on 11 September. In 2003, Airbus took over Boeing as the world leader in the global airliner market. It then streamlined its production models to prioritise efficiency.
By the end of the decade, things started to look up. In the summer of 2010, Boeing acquired Fairfax, VA-based C4ISR and combat systems developer Argon ST to expand its C4ISR, cyber, and intelligence capabilities. In January 2014, the company announced US$1.23 billion in profits for Q4 2013, a 26% increase, due to higher demand for commercial aircraft.
In 2018 and 2019, two deadly crashes involving Boeing's 737 MAX aircraft occurred, leading to the grounding of the entire fleet worldwide. Investigations revealed issues with the plane's automated flight control system, leading to a redesign of the system and other safety-related changes. The crashes resulted in numerous lawsuits and significant financial losses for Boeing. In response to the 737 Max crisis, Boeing implemented several changes to its operations, including the restructuring of its engineering and safety departments, the creation of a new Product and Services Safety organization, and the implementation of new training programs for pilots and other personnel. The company also worked closely with regulators around the world to get the 737 Max planes back in the air, which finally occurred in late 2020.
The COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on the airline industry, including Boeing, which experienced a decline in demand for new aircraft as airlines reduced their fleets and postponed orders. The pandemic also disrupted Boeing's supply chain and manufacturing operations, resulting in delays and additional costs.
Boeing announcement of its partnership with SpaceX to develop a new spacecraft for NASA's Commercial Crew Program. The partnership led to the development of the CST-100 Starliner spacecraft, which had its first uncrewed test flight in December 2019. Although the mission did not go as planned, Boeing and NASA continued to work together to improve the spacecraft and prepare for crewed missions in the future.
In addition to these events, Boeing has also continued to innovate and develop new technologies in both its commercial and military operations. The company introduced the 777X, a new wide-body airliner, in 2020, and has also been working on the development of a new unmanned aircraft called the MQ-25 Stingray for the U.S. Navy.
In recent years, Boeing has made significant efforts to reduce its environmental impact and increase sustainability. In 2020, the company announced a new initiative to make its aircraft more environmentally friendly, including plans to develop a supersonic passenger jet with net-zero carbon emissions. In March 2021, Boeing announced that CEO David Calhoun would continue to lead the company, but with the new title of Chairman of the Board. The move was part of a broader leadership restructuring aimed at improving the company's governance and accountability.
Boeing's mission statement is: “To connect, protect, explore, and inspire the world through aerospace innovation.”
What Boeing's mission statement means: The mission statement affirms Boeing's commitment to leverage its innovativeness to help connect the world.
Boeing's vision is to safeguard the future of the aerospace industry through technological advancements and intelligent management.
“At Boeing, we are honored to serve all the people who rely on our products and services every day. That’s why we hold ourselves to the highest standards in our work, how we do it and how we treat one another.”
Brett C. Gerry (Chief Legal Officer)
Dave Calhon (President and CEO)
Gregory L. Hysop (Executive Vice President)
B. Mark Allen (Chief Strategy Officer)
William A. Ampofo II (Supply Chain Operations Council)
Uma Amuluru (Chief Compliance Officer)
Biran Besanceney (Chief Communications Officer)
Thedore Colbert III (Space & Security )
Michael D'Ambrose (Chief Human Resources Officer)
Stanley A. Deal (President and Chief Executive Officer)
Michael Delaney (Chief Aerospace Safety Officer)
Susan Doniz (Chief Information Officer)
Recognition and Awards
Products and Services
Boeing has been the premier manufacturer of commercial jetliners for decades. The company also offers commercial services:
- Flight Operations.
- Maintenance & Engineering.
- Parts & Supply Chain.
- Passenger Experience.
- Training Solutions.
Dave Calhon (President and CEO)
B. Mark Allen (Chief Strategy Officer)
Biran Besanceney (Chief Communications Officer)