Boeing Really Takes Off

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I'm an executive producer with iheartradio and how stuff works Nulla of all all things tech and in our last episode I covered the early history of Boeing from its founding to the early years of World War Two when the pioneering hiring is aviation company was making long range bombers with the designation B seventeen nine didn't get to this factoid but at its peak production in nineteen forty four airplane manufacturers were producing sixteen B Seventeen in twenty four hours now. That wasn't just Boeing's factories mind you though Boeing was the company that designed the B seventeen other manufacturers got the license to produce that same design in order to meet the military's need for more aircraft today. We're going to continue the company's history largely the World War Two because a lot happened with Boeing at that appoint and we're also going to talk about some other military aircraft as well as the commercial aircraft that Boeing would become known for in fact. Let's start with a passenger aircraft that Boeing was working on while it was also ramping up production of the B. Seventeens so in the mid nineteen thirties this is before the United States was in world war due to the airline Pan American Airways better known as Pan Am at the time wanted more aircraft capable of making the Transatlantic Atlantic flight between Europe and North America Pan. AM was one of many companies that sprung up in the nineteen twenties to meet the demand of carrying airmail and then evolved into a passenger service airline. The airline already had a few aircraft from another manufacturing company called Martin so Boeing bid on on this Pan Am contract and won the contract called for the design of a flying boat which kind of tells you everything you need to know about that the type of aircraft so unlike a sea plane flying boat doesn't have pontoon landing gear nor does it have wheels to land on firm ground instead the fuselage of the plane itself is designed to float and the aircraft lands and takes off from the water so it looks like a boat with wings these aircraft could be quite large because they used very large bodies of water as airports so there was no need to build runways or landing strips that that could be large enough to accommodate them and that was a real limiting factor on early airports you go out and build an airport with a landing strip and you know a you know some some <hes> takeoff strips and everything was sized to the planes of the time them as they built larger planes. They wouldn't fit on those older airports airports. Will this got around that because the airport was essentially the ocean or very large lakes and those were huge. There was no need to worry about the size constraints Boeing used much of the design for their bomber prototype the X._p.. Fifteen to serve as the foundation for this new commercial shoul aircraft <hes> this was the same prototype that served as the starting point for the B seventeen design so the end result was a four engine plane a propeller Speller Engines mind you not jet engines and the plane was called the model three fourteen clipper because the aircraft had a max speed of one hundred eighty eight miles per hour or three hundred and three kilometers per hour and its cruising speed was closer to one hundred fifty five miles per hour or two hundred forty nine kilometers per hour there weren't that many seats aboard the aircraft this allowed for seating plan in which the seats could be converted into beds because a flight could take twenty hours or so if you're going across the ocean if it's going to be a twenty hour flight and you need to have a lot of space for people to be able to the recliner and sleep I mean that's almost a full day of flying Pan Am really pulled out all the stops which now that I think about is another for example of a tech phrase based off largely obsolete type of technology anyway they made service aboard these planes a real luxury. It was <music> high class travel and so it was for a very small population of disgustingly wealthy people and I might be showing a bit of Envy V. Here but anyway this was one example of a civilian aircraft that Boeing would make around the same time that was starting production on those b seventeen bombers for the military now that luxury experience wasn't always a smooth one because the model three fourteen clipper wasn't a pressurized aircraft so that minute actually had to fly at lower altitudes which also meant it would have to fly below or through weather disturbances so you can encounter some pretty rough turbulence depending upon the weather along your flight route and around that same time Boeing designed and built a commercial transport aircraft the could fly much higher because it had a pressurized cabin it can maintain a higher air pressure inside the aircraft than would be outside inside the aircraft at altitude. This particular aircraft had the designation of model three Oh seven but it was better known as the Strat O. Liner her. We're going to get a lot of STRETO aircraft in this episode now. The straddle liner was based off of Boeing B seventeen designed directly really it was not based off the X._p.. Fifteen experimental aircraft like the three fourteen clipper the streto liner wasn't aircraft that Boeing had built for for Pan Am and started manufacturing and testing these airplanes in nineteen thirty eight these would be the first passenger aircraft who offer pressurized cabins and they were also propeller planes. The pressurization allowed the aircraft to climb to higher altitudes without the Pesky issue of subjecting passengers to low air pressure where the air isn't thick enough to actually get a good lung full so that meant that you could have a pressurized cabin and the passengers could you know remain conscious. The straddle liner had a limited ability to pressurize the cabin. You couldn't actually climb up to the stratosphere an straddle liner but it was still a pretty remarkable feat of engineering the straddle liner had a passenger capacity of thirty three and it would have a crew who of six on top of that while the initial plan was to use them for commercial air travel both across the ocean and as coast to coast service in the United State's World War Two would mean that many of these aircraft would be purchased by the United States military to be used as transport for personnel and in the military the straddle headliner would receive the designation of C seventy five exact same aircraft although with the amenities really stripped out didn't need to be quite so fancy for military use but it got a new designation. I should also add that these straddle liner marked one of Boeing's big tragedies are march eighteenth nineteen eighteen thirty nine Boeing was demonstrating. The straddle liner for a Dutch airline called K._l._m.. A K._l._M. technical director named Albert von Baumhauer power served as co-pilot on this test flight and there was a Boeing test pilot who was serving as the captain. There are eight other people on the plane as well one of them from T._W._a.. Most of the rest were either from Boeing or the Dutch Air Ministry and during the test the pilot lost control the aircraft and the aircraft went into a dive dive and the pilot was unable to recover and so the straddle liner crashed and all of the people aboard died in the plane crash after an investigation Boeing engineers would add more components to the flight control system of the straddle liner mainly a Dorsal thin that would help with rudder control on the tail and thus improved. It's safety that way but this was a very tragic way to learn that lesson. There's another straddle liner incident. I should mention one. The didn't have a tragic ending but it's interesting because this was a relatively recent event now keep in mind these aircraft originally flew in the nineteen forties but the incident and I'm talking about happened on March twenty eighth two thousand two so not that long ago a three O.. Seven straddle liner registered to the National Air and Until the indicator light lit up green letting you know the landing gear was fully extended but that wasn't the end of their problems while the landing gear was now down before the crew you could go into an approach course for landing that third engine indicated a loss and fuel pressure and then failed completely the other three engines also began to indicate lower fuel pressure and the captain feathered the engines. The captain determined that the aircraft didn't have sufficient fuel pressure to make it back to Boeing field and so he chose to make an emergency water landing in Elliott Bay the crew got the aircraft down into the water where the airplane remained afloat and all of the crew we were able to evacuate the straddle liner and they were whisked off to safety the plane was later retrieved from the bay had to be crane lifted out of it but here's the other story now first of all I have to say this other story cites unnamed sources so we have to take this with an enormous grain in of salt because it could be totally untrue but this story states that the Boeing pilots were actually funding this test flight out of pocket that they were essentially doing this because they both really wanted to fly a straddle liner. I mean this was a classic propeller plane and they had actually planned on doing some circuits meaning. They were GONNA fly around and have fun in this giant aircraft and that's kind of understandable I mean it is a historic aircraft and they were paying for it themselves. So you think all right well it might seem a little you know silly but it also seems seems reasonable. I mean if they're paying for everything except obviously things didn't turn out okay so according to this version of the story the pilots only paid for about three eight hundred gallons of fuel when they were at Boeing for the beginning of their trip and their initial plan was they would fly the aircraft paine field and and they do a little few circuits but then they would land at Paine field and refuel at Paine field because at paine field the gas was slightly cheaper or really the airplane fuel was slightly cheaper and they could use that fuel for the rest of their flight shenanigans but apparently at some point along on the way here having all this fund the pilots forgot about this. Maybe they were enjoying flying the straddle egner too much they failed to refuel the plane plains sufficiently so they took off from paine field for trip number two and they had not properly refueled and they started flying circuits circuits again taking the plane l. on the joyride. An engine threes sputtered and died because there wasn't a fuel in the system they feathered the engine and and they decided they needed to land the aircraft and that's when they found out that the landing gear couldn't lower and why couldn't the landing gear lower well the power for the landing gear would normally be provided by engine three but they had feathered engine three effectively they had shut down the engine so the engine could not provide the power to lower the landing gear which meant they had to lower it manually and then they decided they would go back to Boeing field rather than land back at Paine. Remember pain is where they took off but they decide rather than return to that that landing strip which might have actually been closer before they started doing other circuits and stuff they decided to keep on going toward Boeing and making matters more confusing is that these straddle liner maintenance. It's facility was at pain so why fly back to Boeing field well again according to this unnamed source in this story it's because the crew wanted to go back to Boeing field because that's where they parked their cars so it'd be inconvenient if they landed in pain to get everything may maintained in fixed. Now this version of the story stories true the failure was on the part of the flight crew not the aircraft now again. I have no clue if the details of that story are true but but it was pretty big news in Seattle in two thousand two that Boeing had to ditch a straddle liner in that bay so Boeing was making civilian aircraft for airlines airlines and bombers the U._S. military leading up to the United States entering World War Two which happened in December nineteen forty one and nineteen thirty nine a former Boeing leader came back to see the company through the massive wartime production operations and that was Philip g Johnson who had worked for Boeing since nineteen seventeen and then he rose to the level of president of United Aircraft and Transport Company that was the Holding Company of Boeing's various businesses says but then the government U._S. government force that company to break apart so he left Boeing in nineteen thirty three and then established Trans Canada Airlines however he returned to Boeing serve as the president he was responsible for the company's performance during wartime and when we come back I'll talk about the B twenty nine nine superfortress and how Boeing switched into full on military mode but first. 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We guarantee ship station will make getting orders to your customers a lot easier that ship station DOT COM Promo Code podcast ship station make ship happen. It's hard to stress exactly how much the bombing of Pearl Harbor affected the United States not only did it mean the U._S.. Would officially declare war and enter World War Two it was also a terrifying example of how aircraft could pose as a serious threat one of the actions Boeing knowing took was to disguise its manufacturing facilities so that when viewed from the air the facilities looked like a nondescript community they built makeshift houses Ralph stuff like burlap and they put those on the rooftops of their buildings so that it looked like it was just a little poor community instead of buildings things that were housing aircraft manufacturing facilities but inside those buildings Boeing was wrapping up production on the B seventeen bomber than in their manufacturing facilities polities in Renton Washington and Wichita Kansas the company prepared to make another long range bomber the B twenty nine superfortress the military military had determined that Boeing B seventeen would be suitable for use in the European theater during World War Two but that a different aircraft would be required for the Pacific theater. There was a need for aircraft that can carry a heavier bomb payload many thousands of miles so Boeing was one of several companies companies to submit a proposal and along with manufacturing companies Martin Douglas and Lockheed Boeing was invited to build a prototype of its design nine for military consideration Lockheed and Douglas would both cancel their projects before they actually got the prototype stage they ultimately determined that it wasn't in a profitable approach for them. The Army Air Corps which would officially become the U._S.. Army Air Forces in nineteen forty one would choose Boeing's design as as their primary bomber and then Martin's designed the B thirty two served as a backup Boeing delivered some prototypes and before long entered into full production in mod the need was greater than what Boeing could accomplish on its own in its own facilities and so a bell aircraft manufacturing plant and a Martin facility pretty also would end up producing some B twenty nine aircraft also this was the age of Rosie the riveter that's the iconic image of a woman dressed for Khameini factoring work. She's flexing her muscles looking really powerful well. That wasn't just an example of propaganda. The workforce is in these facilities were largely made up of women because the male working force was largely off at war so most of these aircraft were primarily put together by women the the B twenty nine relied on an eleven person crew that included the pilot the co-pilot you had several gunners you had the bombardier you had the navigator. There are a couple of others as as well. The B twenty nine was heavier than the B seventeen weighed in at seventy four thousand five hundred pounds when empty or thirty three thousand seven hundred ninety eighty three kilograms and it was also longer than the B seventeen also had a wider wingspan than the B seventeen the aircraft would be used extensively in the the Pacific and it had pressurized sections so that the crew could move through them even when the plane was flying at high altitudes one exception of this was for the poor guy who served as the tail gunner so the tail gunner position itself was pressurized. I mean that only makes sense. You need to have a conscious governor in that a position but the area immediately around the tail gunner position which was sealed off from the rest of the aircraft that area wasn't pressurized so if if you were the tail gunner you would get into the tail gunner position before the aircraft had climbed into that higher altitude you'd seal yourself in your position would be pressurized and then you'd be stuck there until the aircraft had descended to a low enough altitude where you could get out without having being the problems of of low air pressure so that must have been pretty confining four of the machine gun turrets on the B twenty nine were capable of Operation Asian via remote control which was a real innovation at the time amend the two crew members could control the four turrets and like the B seventeen most of the guns aboard the B Twenty nine were fifty caliber machine guns. It was a b twenty nine superfortress called the Enola Gay though would carry the atomic bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima another in world war two it was in fact more expensive than the manhattan project that was the project that was responsible for developing and building the atomic bombs but the between cost more money during world war two boeing also lost its company president philip g johnson whom i mentioned just before the break he died from a massive stroke as he was overseeing operations in the wichita kansas manufacturing facility in nineteen forty four clermont claire air act vet whose name i continued to butcher but he had served as president of boeing from nineteen thirty three to nineteen thirty nine would actually step back into the position for the remainder of world war two as a sort of an interim president and then he would hand the company over to william m allen in nineteen forty i five boeing made a couple of other military aircraft during world war two besides the famous be seventeen and b twenty nine bombers <hes> you may have heard about the b fifty <music> superfortress it'd be fair the beef fifty was really a re designation of what was originally called a. b. twenty nine d so it was part of the a b twenty nine superfortress family but then got rebranded if you will into a beef fifty boeing also made a long range cargo cargo military aircraft called these strata freighter and it also made a fighter plane the x f eight b this was a single engine propeller plane gene intended for the u._s. navy as not just a fighter but also like a torpedo bomber boeing produced a prototype in nineteen forty four but world war two was over before the company was scheduled to enter into full production mode so the project was scrapped with only three aircraft all prototypes ever built boeing would also take the design and of the c ninety seven strata freighter and then refitted to serve as a commercial passenger aircraft the new design needed a new name which would become the boeing three seventy seven streto cruiser boeing's customer was once again pan am this aircraft was a bit more posh then the military variant as you might imagine there were different passenger configurations for the straddle cruiser but generally it could hold between sixty three and eighty four passengers with with a crew of four the main cabin had a staircase that led down to a lower deck and the lower deck actually served as drinks lounge very very kinda swing in you know i feel like i should remind you guys that these aircraft were all propeller airplanes these are not jet engine aircraft yet we're not quite there so this was considered you know very swanky kind of travel arrangements back when you know traveling on an airplane was a big deal and usually usually only the well-to-do could afford to ever set foot on them while i'm on the straddle cruiser i should talk about that aircraft's safety record because it's pretty <unk> dismal <hes> right now the seven thirty seven max aircraft from boeing is in the news due to some truly horrible accidents that have happened with it but that's not the first aircraft trek from boeing to have problems that lead to tragedy now it seems like the main fault for the streto cruiser lay in the choice of propellers at the time of its construction boeing had essentially two choices for propellers for the straddle cruiser was made by curtis electric and the the other was made by hamilton standard the curtiss electric propeller blades were heavier and more complex from an electro mechanical perspective and probably more expensive of to the hamilton standard propeller blades would rely on a hydraulic system so mechanically they were simpler and they were also four hundred pounds lighter than the curtiss electric propeller blades so boeing went with the hamilton standard ones they were lighter and they were less complicated unfortunately the straddle cruisers operations sometimes played more force on those propellers and their engines than they were rated to withstand and that would lead to the the propellers becoming unbalanced which would then cause powerful vibrations that could damage the engines sometimes ripping them clear off the aircraft as appeared to be the case on april twenty ninth nineteen fifty two that's when australia cruiser on route to new york from rio de janeiro crashed in the brazilian jungle all all fifty people aboard that plane died in the crash this was the worst of the tragedies involving the strategy cruiser but sadly it was not the only one there there were others as well there were enough incidents to lead the f._a._a. to issue an airworthiness directive about the hamilton standard propeller blades and while several liberal accidents were traced to problems with propellers and ultimately with a sealant that was used to hold these hollow propellers together other accidents had other causes causes there wasn't the only cause of accidents aboard strategy cruisers one involved a cabin door being improperly sealed and upon climbing to cruising altitude and achieving its pressurized status that door ultimately failed and the cabin suffered explosive decompression and it resulted in one passenger dying <hes> truly awful awful events between nineteen forty seven to nineteen fifty boeing would manufacturer fifty-six streto cruisers and during the time of their operation a total of one hundred thirty nine people died in accidents involving strata cruisers the last of which took place in nineteen seventy with a converted streto cruiser those meant to carry heavy aircraft parts now i gotta backtrack just a bed because we were in the nineteen forties and then i just went down the strategy cruiser line but in nineteen forty six boeing signed a contract to develop what was called the ground to air pilotless aircraft and from that name it sounds like it could be a remote control drone but that's not it that was actually the name for a two stage missile designed to fly faster than the speed i've sound the first missile boeing ever designed it was an anti aircraft missile meant to intercept aircraft that could fly up to seven hundred miles per hour or one thousand one hundred twenty twenty six kilometers per hour and up to altitudes of eight thousand feet or two thousand four hundred thirty eight meters the gap as it was called g. p. <music> a never saw active use defense but did serve as the basis for future missiles designed by boeing also in nineteen forty-six boeing agreed to supply the two prototype aircraft designated x._p. forty-seven to the army air forces this was a long range bomber design with six turbojet <unk> engines so jet engines not propeller engines it also had a swept wing design which means the wings weren't at a straight ninety degree angle out from the body of the aircraft craft the wings of the x._p. forty-seven or angled back with respect to the aircraft's cockpit so <hes> that's how most swept wing aircraft are there are a few that actually they have wings that are angled forward rather than backward during world war two the german military had settled on swept wing designs for high speed aircraft they found that they were more stable able to withstand the forces better than straight winged aircraft so after the war those designs would find their ways into aircraft plans in the former allied nations soclean the united states and wind tunnel tests confirmed that the design was far more stable for high speed aircraft than the straight winged version so that was the design for the x._p. forty-seven and the engines of the x._p. forty-seven <hes> the nickname of which was these strato jet were in what recalled pods or nay sells these were <music> suspended under the wings of the jet and like i said there were six engines so on each wing you had two engines that were side by side in a single nasal that was closest to the body of the aircraft and then the third engine for that side was suspended toward the end of the wing so it's a pretty funky looking bomber bomber and if you listen to my episode about jet engines you'll remember that there little challenging to get going when you're on the ground once you're traveling at an appropriate breach speed through the air the air rushing through the jet engines is sufficient for it to maintain operation but at rest that doesn't work so these x._p. forty-seven jets eh had to have a little help when they needed to take off and that help came in the form of eighteen rocket units in the fuselage so those rockets would ignite night <hes> for takeoff and x._p. forty-seven would have what was called a jet assisted takeoff or j._t. o. j. t. l. and the x._p. forty-seven would also have to deploy a drag parachute to slow its speed when it was coming in for a landing decks p forty-seven became the model for the b. forty-seven seven bomber that bomber only needed armament in the rear of the plane because it moved so fast that no fighter aircraft of the time could attack it from any angle but from behind so the b forty seven we become the backbone of the new united states air force strategic air command and which operated the bombers from nineteen fifty one to nineteen sixty five now going to take another quick break but when we come back we'll talk about a few more aircrafts raft that emerged in the years following world war two as well as boeing's attempt to get into commercial jet airliners nurse geico presents eyewitness interviews with inanimate objects this is brian bruno live on the scene annabel recent windstorm here to describe the event a chest of drawers there's a storm howling outside so i thought i'd stay in and watch a rom com five minutes into the flick a tree branch ranch slams through the window you hurt i just gotta scratch on my chest your chest of drawers can't help you in a windstorm but the geico insurance agency can help you get covered for personal property damage call gyco to see how affordable homeowners insurance can be let's consider the secret life of the innermost nesting doll living most of her life in the doc inside the other nesting dolls he has plenty of time to think if we could sadly she has no brain however when in a most nesting doll here's the geico not tony saves people money but also has been providing great service for over seventy five years she thinks it's obvious you should switch because yes switching to gyco is a no brainer pity teeth innermost nesting doll and her lot in life okay so To was for it to be as six engine propeller bomber with a straight wing design. Those plans were obliterated in nineteen forty eight when a military officials was it now we want a jet powered bomber so the design team that had been working on the beef fifty two for two years pulled a crazy weekend shift to come up with an all new jet powered design with a swept wing <hes> approach the Air Force ordered thirteen B fifty two's and Boeing built three redesignated be fifty to a but then converted production toward a new model called the fifty to be if all of the same design that had larger engines ends and carry more weight between nineteen fifty to nineteen sixty two Boeing would produce seven hundred forty four beef fifty two's later versions were more powerful and could fly further the beef fifty two h I flown in nineteen sixty one is an aircraft that believe it or not is still in service service with the U._S.. Military today and it's expected to remain in service into the twenty fifties that's a phenomenal aircraft raft on the B fifty two also had name it was the stratofortress of course it was bowing was done with propeller aircraft either neither it also built the L. Fifteen scout which was a short takeoff and landing aircraft with a single engine propeller engine they the company only made a dozen dozen of them which ultimately found their way into use in the United States fish and Wildlife Service now as we've seen in this episode for many years Boeing was relying heavily on military contracts for revenue the conclusion of World War Two meant that those contracts were becoming less frequent the company was eager to diversify Safai and to find other means of generating revenue and so we come to one of the more odd elements of Boeing's history the introduction of a gas turbine engine for a truck in nineteen fifty so in other words a jet powered truck sort of Boeing was partnered with another for Seattle based company. The truck company can worth the truck company had helped with Boeing's manufacturing runs earlier during the war and so- Boeing <music> outfitted a Kenilworth truck with a one hundred seventy five horsepower gas turbine engine. The gas turbines seemed to have some pretty clear advantages is at least on paper it weighed a fraction of the of the traditional diesel engines that were used in large trucks it can also accept lots of different kinds of fuel bill including gasoline diesel and even kerosene the engine was also smaller it took just thirteen percent of the same physical space as a diesel all engine but when it came to performance the gas turbine engine just couldn't match the traditional diesel engines. The truck went on a test run actually actually several test runs between Seattle and Los Angeles and according to some reports these trips were taking several hours longer than a run in a normal diesel truck. The performance was just lacking the trucks couldn't accelerate really well. They were putting way too much exhaust out and there was also a little issue she with fuel economy <hes> it was down to a dismal one mile per gallon of fuel yikes Boeing would continue to work on gas turbine turbine engines for land vehicles and eventually landed a contract with a company called American Lafrance which put them into fire trucks and the stories behind those were also pretty interesting interesting since it sounded like the crews using those trucks had to find creative work arounds to compensate for the shortcomings of the engines but they also said that they were really fun to operate so I guess that's the trade off. Also nineteen fifty Boeing submitted a proposal for the bow mark missile. This was a design that incorporated stuff that Boeing engineers had learned earned while making those kappa missiles back in nineteen forty six the bow mark was the first long range antiaircraft missile in the world and unlike Gabba this it would be a missile that Boeing would actually mass produce while World War Two was long over the Cold War was really ramping up and the U._S.. Military had a deep concerns about the then Soviet Union's military capabilities including the development of long range bombers that could potentially fly over the United States the bow mark was meant to be a defense against those types of aircraft. The anti-aircraft missile was a young enough technology that the air force didn't have a a good way to designate it so originally the bow mark was referred to as an ex f ninety nine and the F. An ex south stood for fighter later as in Bomar was considered a pilotless aircraft and fighters seem to be the closest thing they can use to describe it now eventually the air force would change its designation system and they renamed it the I._M.. Ninety nine with I._M.. Standing for interception missile Boeing would test the prototype of the bow mark in nineteen fifty two and went into full production in nineteen fifty five the missile had some drawbacks the biggest one was that the the earlier version of the missile relied on liquid rocket fuel and that liquid rocket fuel was highly corrosive because of that you couldn't pre fuel a missile before you had to use it the fuel would actually corrode the interior of the fuel tank for that missile making it unreliable or worse so you had to hold off on fueling the things until it was time to use them and the fueling process took about two minutes and as you might imagine every minute counts when you're potentially potentially defending against an incoming aerial attack so Boeing later addressed this problem by making a switch and they changed out the liquid rocket fuel motors others with a solid fuel rocket booster that lowered the response time for the so-called Super Bowl Mark missile till less than thirty seconds the company would produce five hundred seventy. No mark missiles which became part of a network called the semi automatic ground environment or sage. They're kept inside inside launch shelters in remote locations. You've probably seen stock footage of these things where news these big <hes> hatches would open up and missiles would come well. It's that kind of stuff but these weapons were measured. Defense measure against bombers mail aircraft flying overhead as the focus would shift to who intercontinental ballistic missiles the usefulness of these older Bo mark missiles was determined to be somewhat limited and the military chose was to decommission them in nineteen seventy two now. I'M GONNA end this episode with a project that Boeing started in nineteen fifty two it was known as the three sixty seven eighty also called the dash eighty Boeing gave the project named the three sixty seven eighty to disguise its real purpose because the name seemed to indicate that it was going to be a variant of the ninety seven streto freighter but this was actually a project to explore the possibility of producing jet propelled commercial aviation in aircraft so in other words passenger jets and this wasn't a new idea Boeing didn't invent this in fact the Boeing President of the time Bill Allen. I had been part of a group of Boeing executives that went to see a jet powered airliner called the Haviland comet. It flew in an air show in the U._K.. The comment made its first test flight in nineteen forty nine and entered into commercial service in nineteen fifty two the same year Boeing committed to exploring the possibility of getting into that same business in the United States the dash eighty took about two years from the launch of the project to the production of the first aircraft and that first model three sixty seven eighty debuted on May Fourteenth Nineteen Fifty Four William Boeing himself who was seventy two years old ended that point attended the event the project had cost sixteen million dollars to fund that represented about two thirds of Boeing's profits since World War Two so this was a significant undertaking the dash eight served as the basis for a new line of aircraft technically early to lines of aircraft Boeing even started to gear up to go into full production. Even though it had not yet received a single order either from the military sorry or from an airline like Pan Am but the demonstration turned heads and before long the Air Force ordered a military version of the dash eighty this this one would be called the K. C.. One thirty five jet tanker the commercial side was a tougher sell Boeing was up against its competitor Douglas with much wheeling and dealing Boeing sales reps were able to land the contract with Pam to deliver twenty commercial versions of the Dash Eighty which would be known known as the seven zero seven at the same time Pan Am had also put in an order for twenty five DC eight's from Douglas so Boeing's long-term term success in commercial jets was not yet assured in our next episode. I'M GONNA continue looking at Boeing's history and commercial jets as well as explore or some of the technology behind the recent tragedies with the seven thirty seven Max and we'll talk more about the different layouts and configurations of these aircraft and <hes> hopefully you guys are finding the interesting. I'm finding it fascinating. I always heard bits and pieces about Boeing but this is the first time I've taken a deep dive into their history three and the various aircraft and technologies they've been instrumental in developing and to me. It's pretty interesting stuff. If you guys have suggestions for future topics of tech stuff send me a message you can email me at tech

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