The author has written a very logical and readable account of Boeing and it is a complete story in that it covers the major milestones and aircraft models, with some excellent photographs, some rare and possibly not published before in an aviation book. There is good balance and a high standard of production. Anyone with an interest in aircraft and aviation history would be proud to own a copy.
NAME: Boeing The Complete Story
CLASSIFICATION: Book reviews
AUTHOR: Alain Pelletier
BINDING: Hard back
PRICE: GB £25.00
SUBJECT: Boeing Clipper, P-12, B-17, B-27, B-50, KC-97, KC-135, F-15, satellites, B-47, B-52, 707. 727, 737, 747, 757, 767, 777, 787, PW-9, NB-1, model 40A, FB-1, C-700, GA-1, F4B-2, Monomail, model 247, XB-15, SA-307B, Stearman, Stratocruiser, KB-50, 2707, CH-47, CH-46, PHM-2, E-3C, V-22,
DESCRIPTION: Boeing is one of the oldest aircraft manufacturers to have survived continuously from its foundation under its founder’s name. Over the years it has adapted and acquired rivals. Bombardier might be able to claim to be the oldest aircraft manufacturer through its acquisition of Shorts which was certainly the oldest manufacturer in Europe and some claim has been made that it was the first true aircraft factory, but it has become a component manufacturer under another company’s name. In Europe, old companies merged, often forced mergers by politicians, and attempted to develop pan-European companies. The early heritage survives but under a succession of names and amalgamations. The author has written a very logical and readable account of Boeing and it is a complete story in that it covers the major milestones and aircraft models, with some excellent photographs, some rare and possibly not published before in an aviation book. There is good balance and a high standard of production. Anyone with an interest in aircraft and aviation history would be proud to own a copy. Of course a complete detailed history of a company as long lived and active as Boeing is not possible in 256 pages. That is not important because there is a multitude of published work available to cover in great detail specific parts of the Boeing story and individual aircraft types. What the author has done is to provide an account of the company from its foundation and indicated its place in aviation history. Boeing has never truly been a pioneer. Other companies have produced a new type of aircraft first, but Boeing has not been far behind with a very competent alternative and frequently achieved a more dependable design. Boeing has excelled in multi engine aircraft for civil and military use. It produced the famous Clipper flying boats that opened up the long haul passenger routes between the two world wars. The Boeing Stearman was a highly successful biplane trainer and the P-12 biplane fighter was produced in large numbers. The B-17 Flying Fortress will be one of the jewels in the Boeing crown. Not initially defended adequately for European operations and never capable of hauling the huge bomb load that the British Lancaster took in its stride, it was never the less the backbone of the US 8th Army Air Force daylight raids over Germany. The Super Fortress introduced important features but its main claim to fame was in dropping two nuclear weapons on Japan. After 1947 Britain pulled ahead with the manufacture of jet aircraft and American designers had to depend on British engines and development of German jet engine technology. As a result, English Electric produced the first reliable jet bomber in the Canberra that served for decades and was built in the US under license. The Comet took the passenger market by storm as the first jet airliner. However, Boeing was to produce jet bombers in volume with the B-47 and B-52. After the Comet was withdrawn temporarily with fatigue problems, Boeing captured the airline market with the 707 that was regularly developed into new 700 series jet airliners. The latest model the 787 may prove the most prolific airliner on the basis of initial sales. By the same publisher, Airbus the Full Story shows an alternative view of the battle between Boeing and Airbus Industries. Boeing also developed a lead in aerial refuelling that made the jet bomber a credible inter continental nuclear threat. Again Boeing was not truly the original pioneer but was early into this area of aviation and produced the flying boom method of transferring fuel at the highest rate. Today, Boeing is an important manufacturer and developer of space craft and launch vehicles, a producer of UAVs and a manufacturer again of fighter aircraft. In an industry with many casualties, Boeing has proved the great survivor. The author has captured this heritage very effectively. To the reader who wants to learn about Boeing and its aircraft for the first time, this is the book to start with. To the enthusiast with an extensive library, this is still a book to buy and will add to any existing knowledge of the subject.