The Boeing Logbook: 1927 - 1932
1927 Jan. 27: The Douglas T2D-1 torpedo bomber makes its first flight.
Jan. 28: The Boeing Airplane Co. signs a contract with the U.S. Postal Department to fly airmail on the 1,918-mile route between Chicago, Ill., and San Francisco, Calif., using the Model 40A mail plane with an air-cooled engine. William E. Boeing later points out that his planes are designed to carry mail and people rather than radiators.
May 4: The first Boeing-built but Navy-designed TB-1 torpedo bomber makes its first flight. The three TB-1s built will be the last non-Boeing-designed aircraft built in Seattle until World War II.
May 20: The Boeing Model 40A two-passenger mail plane makes its first flight. By June 15, all 25 mail planes will be ready.
June 30: Boeing Air Transport (BAT), predecessor to United Airlines, is founded to operate the mail routes and run the new airline. Philip G. Johnson is president, Claire L. Egtvedt is general manager and William E. Boeing is chairman of the board.
July 1: Bertha Boeing, William's wife, inaugurates the first BAT airmail flight.
1928 James S.McDonnell organizes J.S. McDonnell & Associates to build the Doodlebug for the Guggenheim safe airplane competition.
Jan. 1: Boeing Air Transport acquires 73 percent of Pacific Air Transport's stock and runs an airline up and down the West Coast. Ship lights on mountains guide pilots over the peaks.
March 4: The Boeing Model 204 (B-1E), a four-seat civilian flying boat, makes its first flight. Ten are built and are the last aircraft Boeing built specifically for private ownership by civilians. Four built by Boeing Aircraft of Canada in Vancouver, British Columbia, are called "Thunderbirds."
June 6: Douglas delivers an O-2J observation airplane, specially built for Chief of the Army Air Corps.
June 25: The Boeing Model 83, prototype for the P-12/F4B series of fighters, makes its first flight. The similar Model 89 makes its first flight from Anacostia, Md., on Aug. 7.
July 27: The Boeing Model 80, a 12-passenger trimotor biplane transport, makes its first flight. The design is upgraded to the 18-passenger Model 80A, which makes its first flight a year later.
Oct. 30: The Boeing Airplane and Transport Corp. is formed to encompass both airline and aircraft manufacturing operations.
Nov. 20: Douglas Aircraft Co. Inc. is organized.
Dec. 6: North American Aviation Inc. is formed as a holding company in Delaware.
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1929 Feb. 1: The Boeing Airplane and Transport Corp. changes its name to United Aircraft and Transportation Corp. and by the end of the year had expanded its operations to include Chance Vought Corp., Hamilton Metalplane Division, Boeing Aircraft of Canada, Stout Airlines, Northrop Aircraft Corp., Stearman Aircraft Co., Sikorsky Aviation Corp., Standard Steel Propeller Co. and Pratt & Whitney Aircraft Co.
April 11: The Boeing P-12 fighter makes its first flight. The Navy version, the F4B-1, will make its first flight on May 6. The military will order 586 airplanes in the series.
July: Douglas moves its operations from the cramped facilities of a leased motion picture studio on Wilshire Blvd. to a new, well-equipped plant near Clover Field, Santa Monica, Calif.
Oct. 5: The Boeing Model 40B-4 makes its first flight. It is the first plane in the Model 40 series to use the two-way radio, designed by Thorpe Hiscock, William Boeing's brother-in-law.
Oct. 29: The stock market crashes and the Depression begins.
Nov. 15: The McDonnell Doodlebug makes its first flight.
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1930 May 6: The Monomail, the first Boeing commercial monoplane, makes its first flight.
May 15: Ellen Church, a registered nurse, joins the crew of the Boeing Model 80A headed to San Francisco. She is the first female flight attendant.
June 10: Stearman Aircraft Co., part of the Boeing group, starts building a new plant in Wichita, Kan.
July: The Douglas amphibian, Sinbad, makes its first flight. The high-winged monoplane, powered by two Wright Whirlwind engines, becomes the prototype for the Dolphin series. The plane becomes the most popular Douglas flying boat of the era.
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1931 March 28: Boeing Air Transport, National Air Transport, Varney Airlines and Pacific Air Transport combine as United Air Lines, providing coast-to-coast passenger service and mail service. It takes 27 hours to fly the route, one way.
April 13: The first Boeing monoplane bomber, the B-9 (Model 215), makes its first flight.
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1932 January: Douglas sets up the Northrop Corp. at El Segundo, Calif., after John K. Northrop returns to Douglas.
March 20: The Boeing P-26 Peashooter makes its first flight. It soon establishes its reputation as the fastest air-cooled pursuit fighter in the world.
July 26: The Boeing Model 247, the first modern airliner, is awarded its patent.
August: The Douglas Gamma transport, built by John Northrop, makes its first flight.
Sept. 20: Douglas is awarded a contract by TWA to build the DC-1 prototype, with options for 60 more.
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