October 2005 
Volume 04, Issue 6 
Boeing in the News

Jack Real; helped run Apache program

Jack RealJack G. Real, retired Hughes Helicopters Inc. and McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Co. president, died Sept. 6 in Southern California at age 90. Real, an aviation engineer, business leader and advisor to Howard R. Hughes, helped bring the AH-64 Apache helicopter from flight test to production.

Real, born in Baraga, Mich., in 1915, began his aviation career in 1939 when he joined Lockheed Aircraft Company as a design engineer. In 1946, Real met Hughes and the two later became friends. In 1971, Real left Lockheed to join the Hughes organization as vice president of aviation for the Hughes Tool Company. From 1972 until Hughes' death in 1976, Real served as Hughes' personal advisor.

After Hughes' death, Real served as a senior vice president of the Summa Corporation, a holding company that included Hughes' helicopter operations. In 1979 he became president of Hughes Helicopters Inc. There he supervised the development and production of the AH-64 Apache, led the effort to move the company's operations from Culver City, Calif., to Mesa, Ariz., and negotiated the 1984 acquisition of the company by McDonnell Douglas. Real remained as president of McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Co. until retiring in 1987.

—Larry Merritt


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