In 1916, William Boeing hired his fledgling company’s first engineer, Wong Tsoo, a Chinese innovator who had just graduated from MIT. Asked to work on the design for a seaplane suitable for Navy training duties, Wong helped create a two-seat biplane with innovations tested in the MIT wind tunnel.
On the morning of Nov. 15, 1916, the Model C took off from Seattle's Lake Union and flew into aviation history. A few months later, Navy pilots tested it and pronounced it the best biplane they'd ever seen. The Navy bought 50 Model Cs for $575,000 (worth nearly $10 million in today's dollars) — the contract that, according to historian Robert J. Serling, “put Boeing into business for good.”
In the decades since, employees of Asian descent have revolutionized and propelled our company forward with innovations, leadership and engineering ingenuity in aerospace.
Learn more about Wong Tsoo