The Boeing Logbook: 1983 - 1987
1983 Jan. 7: First McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet strike fighters go into operational service.
July 22: The FAA announces that the Boeing 757 and 767 models share so many common features that a pilot who qualifies in one model is automatically qualified on the other.
July 29: The McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle becomes the first Air Force fighter to amass 10,000 hours of flight testing without the loss of an aircraft.
August: Hughes Helicopters delivers its 1,000th 25 mm M242 automatic cannon to the U.S. Army.
Aug. 29: First production version of the McDonnell Douglas AV-8B Harrier II V/STOL attack aircraft makes its first flight.
Sept. 30: First production AH-64A Apache attack helicopter is rolled out by Hughes Helicopters at a ceremony in Mesa, Ariz., two months ahead of schedule.
November: The third Rockwell (North American)-built Space Shuttle, the Discovery (OV 103), arrives at Kennedy Space Center, Fla.
The Rockwell GBU-15 weapon system with television guidance completes full-scale operational test and evaluation.
1984 Jan. 6: Hughes Helicopters, entering its golden anniversary year, joins McDonnell Douglas Corp.
Jan. 9: First production AH-64A Apache, now flying under the McDonnell Douglas banner, lifts off for the first time, one month ahead of schedule. It is wins the Collier Trophy and is delivered to the U.S. Army Jan. 27.
Feb. 24: The U.S. Air Force selects the McDonnell Douglas F-15E, an upgraded version of the Eagle, as winner of its dual-role fighter competition.
May 4: 3,000th McDonnell Douglas Harpoon anti-ship missile is delivered to the Navy.
June: The McDonnell Douglas Model 530MG advanced light attack helicopter is introduced at the Farnborough Air Show. During the year, the MD 530F establishes two new world helicopter time-to-climb marks -- 3000 and 6000 meters -- breaking records set by an OH-6A in 1966.
Aug. 3: Hughes Space & Communications GMS-3 is launched from Tanegashima Space Center in southern Japan, carried aloft by the Japanese N-II booster.
Aug. 30: On its first mission, the Rockwell (North American)-built Space Shuttle Discovery deploys three communications satellites, including the fourth Hughes-built satellite for Satellite Business Systems. McDonnell Douglas engineer Charles Walker becomes the first astronaut to represent a private company in space when he operates the McDonnell Douglas Electrophoresis Operations in Space (EOS) aboard the Discovery to explore ways to process materials under weightless conditions.
Sept. 6: Boeing Computer Services gets a contract to provide design software for the Space Shuttle program.
Oct. 18: The Rockwell (North American) B1-B bomber makes its first flight.
Oct. 29: The first McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet is delivered to the Royal Australian Air Force.
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1985 Hughes Helicopters, now a subsidiary of McDonnell Douglas, is first renamed McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Co. and later McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Systems.
Feb. 25: Frank Shrontz is elected president of The Boeing Company.
March: Boeing begins preliminary designs for the International Space Station.
June 29: The first Rockwell (North American) B-1B is delivered to Strategic Air Command (SAC) at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas.
Nov. 22: The first McDonnell Douglas EF-18 for the Spanish Air Force is delivered.
Dec. 31: Air Force awards McDonnell Douglas a contract for full-scale development of the C-17.
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1986 McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Systems formally opens the company's new 1.9 million-square-foot headquarters in Mesa, Ariz. The company announces it will relocate major ordnance program operations and test range to Mesa by late 1987 and will relocate light helicopter assembly operations from California to Arizona in the first quarter of 1988.
An OH-6A, equipped with the NOTAR system, the first conventional rotorcraft to fly without a tail rotor, successfully completes an advanced flight-test program, proving the system is viable for application to future helicopter designs.
Jan. 28: The Rockwell-built Space Shuttle Challenger and its seven-member crew are lost 73 seconds after launch, when a booster failure causes it to break up before the eyes of the world. This tragedy brings the program to a halt as the causes of the accident are examined and re-examined.
Feb. 21: Viking, Sweden's first scientific satellite, is successfully launched aboard a Boeing-built platform. Viking studies the interaction between solar winds and the Earth's magnetosphere causing the aurora borealis.
March 10: The U.S. Navy selects the F/A-18 Hornet as the official airplane of the Blue Angels.
April 26: Frank Shrontz is elected chief executive officer by the Boeing board of directors.
May: Boeing and Bell Helicopter Textron start building six prototypes of the V-22 Osprey, a tiltrotor aircraft.
May: McDonnell Douglas delivers the 1,000th F-15 Eagle.
Dec. 11: The McDonnell Douglas F-15E dual-role fighter version of the Eagle makes its first flight.
Dec. 17: The 4,000th McDonnell Douglas Harpoon anti-ship missile is delivered.
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1987 February: The 30 mm M230 automatic cannon for the AH-64A Apache becomes the first gun to roll off the line at McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Systems' new ordnance assembly and test center in Mesa, Ariz.
Feb. 19: The Boeing E-6A TACAMO prototype flies for the first time.
April 14: A Rockwell B-1B bomber begins a 21-hour 40-minute flight on a course covering 9,411 miles, with a takeoff weight of 413,000 pounds.
June 26: First McDonnell Douglas AV-8B Harrier II equipped for night attack missions makes its first flight.
July 2: Rockwell is awarded a contract to build 12 new AC-130U Gunships.
Sept. 16: The Spanish Navy takes delivery of its first McDonnell Douglas EAV-8B.
Dec. 1: Boeing wins a 10-year contract to design the living and working quarters for the International Space Station.
Dec. 23: The U.S. Navy selects the team of McDonnell Douglas and General Dynamics to develop and build the A-12 advanced tactical aircraft.
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