Higher, Faster, Farther: 1970-1996

Hughes Companies ... Joining the Boeing Family

Howard Hughes died of a stroke April 5, 1976. The Hughes helicopter division became Hughes Helicopters Inc. in 1981. It then became a subsidiary of The Hughes Corp., owned by the Howard Hughes estate.

McDonnell Douglas purchased Hughes Helicopters from the estate in 1984, and the government-imposed limitations between the Hughes Aircraft Co. and Hughes Helicopters were dropped.

In December 1985, the Hughes Electronics Corp. was formed as a wholly owned subsidiary of the General Motors Corp. when the automobile manufacturer acquired Hughes Aircraft Co. from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Then, in 1997, Hughes Electronics' defense operations (the main business of the old Hughes Aircraft Co.) were sold to Raytheon.

McDonnell Douglas, along with its Hughes Helicopters division, became part of The Boeing Company as the result of a stock-for-stock merger that became effective Aug. 1, 1997.

On Jan. 13, 2000, The Boeing Company purchased three units within Hughes Electronics Corp.: Hughes Space and Communications Co., Hughes Electron Dynamics, and Spectrolab Inc., in addition to Hughes Electronics' interest in HRL, the company's primary research laboratory. The four joined Boeing Satellite Systems, a company subsidiary, later becoming the Satellite Development Center, part of Boeing Integrated Defense Systems.

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