Who knew that Boeing made the first Air Force One?
For 100 years, the world’s largest aerospace company has been selling airplanes, rockets, and space capsules to some of the biggest companies all over the world, the U.S. military, and even NASA. Boeing (BA) has had some major accomplishments in its time. From the Enola Gay and the first Air Force One to the most well known passenger jet, the 747. The company started off this year poorly with its stock price dropping 20% and announcing layoffs to cut costs. Last month, the aviation giant signed a tentative agreement with Iran Air for the Islamic Republic company to buy 100 planes reportedly valued at $25 billion. Time Inc. brands such as Time, Fortune, and Life have been there covering Boeing since 1924. Take a look at some of these amazing photos we dug out of our archives below.
CorbisThe space shuttle orbiter Columbia ties up traffic as it noses into a Lancaster intersection early on March 8, 1979. The shuttle is being towed to Edwards Air Force Base where it will be placed atop a Boeing 747 for the flight to Kennedy Space Center in Florida for a scheduled November 1979 orbital launch.
BoeingChina Southern Airlines Boeing 777-200 passenger jet production facility circa 1990.
H. Edward KimYoung worker making door components for Boeing 757 jet in Samsung plant.
Robbie McClaranBoeing exec. Keith Butler wearing headset and data glove as he flies a computer-created airplane shown on screen behind him, example of industrial use of virtual reality.
Gregg SegalBoeing 787 Dreamliner No.2 is prepped to receive its vertical stabilizer at the Boeing factory in Everett, WA. After it’s been through flight-testing and refurbished it will be delivered to the Dreamliner’s first customer, Japan-based airline ANA. Unlike the aluminum-clad 777s that are built next door inside massive fixed structures, all the tooling for the 787 is mobile. The three main sections of the fuselage are brought together and joined guided by an internal GPS system. As other parts of the plane are added, wings, tail etc, tooling is rolled in and rolled out. It’s designed to be a far more flexible approach to building planes, and one that Boeing hopes will get final assembly of the 787 down to three days in 2008.
Gregg SegalEmployees of Velizy, France-based Messier-Dowty roll out one of two main landing gear for the Boeing 787. In the center of the Japan-made tires are titanium stabilizers forged in Russia and machined in the U.K. That all connects to brakes made in Italy and China, wheels made in the U.S. and a central cylinder made in Canada of a steel with a tensile strength so great (120 tons per square inch) a match-stick-sized piece could pick up a car.
Gregg SegalBoeing’s 787 Dreamliner Design Center. Everett WA. Hidden above the front section of the 787 are two bunks for pilots, who are required to rotate out of the cockpit after a typical 8 to 12 hour stint driving the plane. Another set of six bunks, known as the romper room by those who know, are for flight attendants.
Gregg SegalAt Spirt Aerosystems in Wichita, KS the composite nose section of a Boeing 787 Dreamliner slowly twists through an inspection of the interior support structure. The barrel is constructed in one piece, formed around a mold with miles of precision-applied carbon-fiber ribbon.
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