Higher, Faster, Further: 1970-1996

The Boeing Company ... AWACS and Missiles

In addition to its efforts at diversification during the 1970s, Boeing promoted sales of its commercial airplanes and worked on several key defense and space programs.

As surveillance technologies evolved, Boeing developed the E-3 Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) using a 707 airframe, which first flew May 25, 1976. The E-4 Advanced Airborne Command Post, based on the 747, made its first flight on June 19, 1973.

In addition, Boeing built two prototypes for the YC-14 Short Takeoff and Landing (STOL) aircraft, which introduced several significant technological breakthroughs. It first flew in 1976 and could takeoff with a payload of 27,000 pounds in less than 1,000 feet, but never went into production. The Boeing YQM-94A Compass Cope prototype made its first flight July 28, 1973. It was one of the largest remotely piloted airplanes ever developed. Two were built.

The next unmanned aerial vehicle was the Condor, which first flew Oct. 9, 1988. Unlike other remotely piloted air vehicles of the time, the entire flight from takeoff to landing could be preprogrammed. Once it was airborne, its flight path could be revised from ground controllers.

Boeing produced its 1,000th short-range attack missile (SRAM) in 1974 and started on 1,715 air-launched cruise missiles (ALCM). By 1975, Boeing also had delivered all six wings of the Minuteman III missiles to the Air Force.

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