The Boeing Logbook: 1957 - 1963
1957 Jan. 18: Three Boeing B-52s, led by Lucky Lady III, fly 24,325 miles around the world in 45 hours and 19 minutes, at an average speed of 520 mph. They halve the previous around-the-world record set by the Lucky Lady II, a B-50, in 1949.
Feb. 18: After 12 years of production, Douglas delivers the last of 3,180 AD Skyraiders to the Navy.
March 11: The Boeing Dash 80 flies from Seattle to Baltimore, Md., at an average speed of 612 mph.
May 21: A Douglas DC-7C takes off from Long Beach (Calif.) Municipal Airport for a record trans-Atlantic flight that retraces part of the route flown by Charles Lindbergh in 1927. The aircraft flies 6,148 miles to Paris in 21 hours and 52 minutes -- 12 hours less than it took Lindbergh to fly 3,625 miles across the Atlantic.
May 29: The Air Force awards Boeing the contract to build IM-99 Bomarc missiles and their launching facilities.
July: North American submits its proposal for GAM-77 Hound Dog missiles to the Air Force.
July 19: The Douglas MB-1 Genie air-to-air missile is first tested.
August: North American's Missile Development Division is awarded the Hound Dog contract.
Sept. 20: The Douglas-built Thor IRBM (intermediate range ballistic missile) has its first successful launch.
Oct. 28: The first production Boeing Model 707-120 jet rolls out at Renton, Wash.
Oct. 28: Donald W. Douglas Jr. becomes president of Douglas Aircraft Co.; his father remains chairman and chief executive.
Nov. 27: In "Operation Sun Run," McDonnell-built Air Force RF-101 Voodoos set three new transcontinental U.S. speed records by flying west to east at 781.7 mph, east to west at 677.7 mph, and 721.8 mph for the total 4,892-mile, round-trip distance.
Dec. 12: In "Operation Firewall" a McDonnell-built Air Force F-101 Voodoo becomes the fastest operational jet fighter in the world when it establishes a world speed record of 1,207 mph.
1958 Jan. 31: North American's first jet trainer, the T-2 Buckeye, makes its first flight.
Feb. 28: The first Douglas Thor-Agena rocket launches Discoverer 1, the first photo reconnaissance satellite and the first satellite to enter polar orbit.
May: First zero-length launch tests use a North American F-100D Super Sabre at Edwards Air Force Base; it uses its own engine and a 130,000-lb. thrust engine; it accelerates to 272 mph in less than four seconds.
May 15: The U.S. Air Force orders three Boeing 707-120s for use by the president and other high-ranking officials. Designated VC-137A, they will be called Air Force One when the president is aboard. The following year, President Dwight D. Eisenhower will be the first American president to travel on the VC-137A.
May 27: The McDonnell F4H (F-4) naval jet fighter makes its first flight.
May 30: The Douglas DC-8 makes its first flight. It is the first of the DC line to have jet engines.
June: North American's Rocketdyne begins preliminary design of the F-1 rocket engine.
Aug. 15: Pan American World Airways takes delivery of the country's first commercial jet airliner, a Boeing 707-120, four months ahead of schedule. It starts service in October on a trans-Atlantic route.
Aug. 31: The North Amercian A3J/A-5 Vigilante carrier-based bomber makes its first flight.
October: Douglas delivers the first production Thor IRBM to the U.S. Air Force.
Oct. 10: The Air Force selects Boeing to assemble and test the Minuteman intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).
Oct. 11: A Douglas Thor-Able rocket, consisting of a Thor first stage and a Vanguard second stage, launches NASA's Pioneer I spacecraft 79,173 miles into space, the farthest distance yet for an Earth-launched object.
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1959 January: NASA contracts with North American's Rocketdyne for design and development of F-1 engine.
Jan. 12: NASA selects McDonnell Aircraft as prime contractor for Project Mercury, America's first manned orbital spacecraft.
Jan. 25: American Airlines starts Boeing 707 service from New York to Los Angeles for the first transcontinental jetliner route.
April 1: NASA awards Douglas Aircraft a contract to design, test and produce a new multistage rocket using a modified Thor as the first stage. The new launch vehicle is named Delta.
May 5: The first Boeing-built VC-137 is delivered to the Air Force for presidential use.
June: First Douglas Thor IRBM missiles are deployed in England.
June 8: North American's X-15-1 hypersonic research aircraft makes its first and only unpowered test glide flight. It makes its first powered flight June 17.
July 3: McDonnell's F4H jet fighter for the Navy is named the Phantom II in dedication ceremonies during the company's 20th anniversary celebration.
Oct. 4: North American's Little Joe booster rocket is first launched.
Sept. 18: The Douglas DC-8 enters airline service simultaneously with United Air Lines and Delta Airlines.
Nov. 9: Boeing starts developing the Dyna-Soar, a manned orbiting craft.
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1960 March 31: Boeing buys the Vertol Aircraft Corp. of Philadelphia, Pa., and its subsidiaries and forms the Vertol Division of Boeing.
April 1: A Douglas Thor-Able II rocket places Tiros I, the world's first weather satellite, into orbit.
Aug. 10: Discoverer 13 is placed into orbit by a Douglas Thor-Agena rocket. The next day, signaled by radio command, the satellite re-enters the Earth's atmosphere and is retrieved by the Navy from the Pacific Ocean. It is the first satellite to be recovered from orbit. On Aug. 18, Discoverer 14, also launched by a Thor-Agena, becomes the first satellite to be recovered by an aircraft in mid-air.
Aug. 12: The Douglas Delta rocket makes its first successful launch, placing the Echo 1A "passive" communications satellite into orbit.
Sept. 10: NASA selects North American's Rocketdyne to develop J-2 upper stage engine.
Nov. 28: The IM-99A Boeing Bomarc missile is declared operational at five sites, and in December, the first production model IM-99B rolls out.
Dec. 16: North American's Missile Division becomes the Space & Information Systems Division.
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1961 January: NASA awards Hughes Space & Communications a contract to build the Surveyor, the first vehicle to achieve fully controlled soft landing on the moon.
February: A Boeing Vertol Model 107 helicopter (basis of the Sea Knight) wins a Navy design competition. The Marines order 14.
Feb. 1: First launch of a Minuteman missile at Cape Canaveral, Fla.
March 13: McDonnell delivers the last of 807 F-101 Voodoos to the Air Force.
May 5: In the first suborbital flight of a Mercury spacecraft, Alan Shepard becomes the first American in space.
Sept. 21: The Vertol Division's CH-47A Chinook helicopter makes its first flight.
October: First launch of Polaris A-2 intermediate range ballistic missile from a submerged submarine uses North American Autonetics-developed Ships Inertial Navigation System (SINS).
Oct. 12: The Navy's first McDonnell-built F4H operational squadron, VF-74, is qualified for carrier duty.
Nov. 28: North American selected as principal contractor for the Project Apollo Space Development Program.
Dec. 7: NASA names McDonnell Aircraft as prime contractor for Project Gemini, the nation's second-generation manned spacecraft.
Dec. 15: Boeing starts work on the Saturn V first-stage booster for the Apollo program.
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1962 North American's Dutch Kindelberger passes away and Lee Atwood succeeds Kindelberger as chairman of the board.
Jan. 24: The success of the McDonnell Phantom in Navy service leads the Air Force to borrow 29 F4Hs from the Navy for test and evaluation under the designation F-110A Spectre.
Feb. 20: In the first orbital flight of a McDonnell-built Mercury spacecraft, John Glenn becomes the first American to orbit the Earth.
June 22: The last Boeing B-52H, the eighth and final version of the intercontinental bomber, rolls out of Wichita, Kan., to be delivered to the Air Force Oct. 26.
June 29: First McDonnell F4H Phantom IIs are delivered to a Marine Corps squadron, VMF(AW)-314.
July 10: A Douglas-built Delta rocket launches into orbit the first privately built satellite (AT&T's Telstar) for the first television transmission by satellite.
Aug. 7: Boeing launches its first prototype hydrofoil, the High Point.
Sept. 18: With the changes in military designations, the McDonnell F-110A becomes the F-4C and the Spectre name is discarded.
Nov. 27: The first production 727-100 rolls out. It will make its first flight Feb. 9, 1963.
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1963 Feb. 27: The first flight of Hughes OH-6A Cayuse light observation helicopter.
July 26: First Hughes Space & Communications Synchronous Communications (Syncom) satellite is launched atop a Douglas Delta launch vehicle.
Aug. 22: The North American X-15 rocket plane reaches its highest altitude of 354,200 feet.
Sept. 15: The Boeing Airplane Division announces it will bid on the U.S. supersonic transport (SST) program.
Nov. 3: A Boeing 727 completes a 76,000-mile world tour to 26 countries.
Nov. 20: The first McDonnell-built Air Force Phantoms, F-4Cs, are delivered to a Tactical Air Command squadron.
Dec. 20: NASA selects Boeing to build eight Lunar Orbiter spacecraft to take close-range photographs of the moon.
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