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Herald Special Report

The Boeing Century

1916-2016
Boeing Century
By Dan Catchpole
Herald Writer
Dan Catchpole

Dan Catchpole joined The Daily Herald as Boeing reporter in 2013. Previously, he worked for the Yakima Herald-Republic, The Associated Press and as a writer in the Republic of Georgia after its war with Russia.

In 1916, Bill Boeing and partner George Conrad Westervelt made an airplane of wood and wire and canvas. Today, the Boeing Co. is the world’s biggest aerospace company. Its workers make jetliners, satellites, spacecraft and warplanes for customers around the world.

Since it began 100 years ago in Seattle, Boeing has helped make the modern world and changed countless lives along the way. Boeing pioneered all-metal airplanes in the 1930s. Its bombers helped the Allies win World War II. The Jet Age swept in on the wings of the Boeing 707. Today, Boeing jetliners fly air routes all over the globe. So many Boeing 737s are in service that, on average, one takes off or lands every few seconds.

Throughout 2016, The Daily Herald is looking at the people, the airplanes and moments that define The Boeing Century.

Have a Boeing story to tell? We want to hear it. Send your Boeing memories to Dan Catchpole by email, and we'll share the best with our readers. Please include your name, age, where you live now and a phone number where we can reach you.

How Boeing’s incredible 747 launched the Everett factory

How Boeing’s incredible 747
launched the Everett factory

It started with a handshake in 1965 between a Boeing executive and the head of Pan Am. The iconic 747 they envisioned would require a massive new factory, and over the ensuing years it rose from what had been bear-infested woods north of Paine Field.


The incalculable cost of Boeing's South Carolina gamble

The incalculable cost of
Boeing’s South Carolina gamble

Just seven years ago, Boeing executives decided to do something the company had never done – build a jetliner factory outside Washington. It has been a boon for Charleston, South Carolina. But the implications for Boeing and Washington are murky.

Almost cancelled, the 737 >has endured 49 years

Almost cancelled, the 737
has endured 49 years

It almost was cancelled before it was even launched, but today Boeing’s single-aisle airplane is the best-selling commercial jetliner ever and makes up about a quarter of the world’s passenger jets, with one taking off every two seconds.

Some innovations were lucrative, and some were a bust

Some innovations were lucrative,
and some were a bust

All new airplanes introduce some new technology, but not every one changes the industry. And innovation does not always bring profits. Some of Boeing's most ingenius airplanes have been money-losers.