Triple Seven From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 526 posts, RR: 1 Reply 1, posted (13 years 1 month 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 505 times:
To make long story short let's say that Boeing had built the P-26 Peashooter fighter back in the late 1920s. The Boeing 247, 307 and 377 among its more famous propliner. Boeing also made the famous bombers - B-17s, B-29s, B-50s, B-47s and the B-52s. Oh, Boeings history of aircraft development is so vast that I've definitely missed out on lots of other aircraft.
Woodsboy From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 1011 posts, RR: 3 Reply 3, posted (13 years 1 month 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 487 times:
The B377 Stratocruiser was the only large land passenger aircraft that Boeing had built aside from the innovative but doomed B307 and the much smaller and pre-1940s B247. Douglas had the upper hand in the passenger market, actually they probably had the upper hand in general up until the mid 50s with the arrival of the jet-age.
The 377 was a very large design and doubled as the basis for the C-97 aerial refueling aircraft as well as the C-97 troop transport used by MATS and the Air Force. Strangely the 377 didnt achieve the success of the Douglas designs such as the DC-6 and DC-7 with whom it competed and there are only two or three still left as opposed to the hundreds of Douglas pistonliners that still fly around the world everyday (mainly the DC-3 and DC-6). The 377 met the same fate as the Super Constellation with the notoriously unreliable and complicated Wright R-3350s that had a tendency to catch on fire among other unpleasant things. Some military versions even used the larger Wright R4360s from the B-50 Superfortress. Incidently the same wing/ tail unit and lower fusealge of the B-29/ B-50 formed the basis of the 377/C-97.
It is to this day a grand looking airplane with perhaps the largest flight deck of any airplane every built. I went on-board a Hawkins and Powers KC-97G in Anchorage back in 1990 and I couldnt believe the size of this plane! It was utilized for hauling fish and other cargo on a charter basis. You could have seated an orchestra in the flight deck, impressive indeed!
There is still at least one that I see here in Alaska during the summer fire season. It is in a tanker configuration and fights fires for the BLM/ Alaska Fire Service along with a beautiful DC-7 and a Herc.
Trident From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2000, 484 posts, RR: 0 Reply 4, posted (13 years 1 month 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 481 times:
Yeah, Boeing goes way back, to at least 1919. It was originally more famous for its fighters and bombers rather than the airliners. In the 1920's the main US Army fighter (or Pursuit Airplane) was the P-12 biplane. It was also used by the US Navy as the F-4B. Later, Boeing built the P-26 Peashooter.
Boeing's experience of large aircraft grew from its work on heavy bombers (B-15, B-17, B-29, B-50, B-47, B-52). Nearly all its early airliners had some element originally tried on one of its bombers.
When it first flew in the early 1930's, the Boeing 247 was the first all metal, retractable undecarriage, stressed skin monoplane airliner. It was faster than most of the Air Corp's fighters of the day. The 307 was the worlds first pressurised airliner. It used the wings and tail of the B-17. The 377 Stratocruiser was based on the B-29 Superfortress. The 707 had swept wings and podded jet engines mounted on pylons, a layout first tried out on the B-47 Stratojet.
What is interesting is that Boeing could have obtained its world lead in airliner manufacturing as early as the 1930's if it had been prepared to sell some of the early production 247's to airlines other than United. At that time, Boeing was part of a conglomerate called United Aircraft who also owned United Airlines and Pratt & Whitney. The first 60 247's were allocated to United. TWA wanted some but were told they would have to wait until the United order was completed. Well. they were not prepared to wait and so they requested Douglas to come up with a competitor to the 247. This resulted in the one off DC-1 prototype which evolved into the production aircraft, the DC-2 and eventually, the DC-3. The rest, they say, is history.