The History of Boeing in 15 Objects

A rummage through the airplane maker’s attic.

Early concept for the Boeing 727 (Chad Slattery)
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The airplane was still a novelty in 1916, when Bill Boeing flew his first, an open-cockpit seaplane he named Bluebill. Only two such airplanes were built (the other was named Mallard), but today his namesake, The Boeing Company, delivers an average of more than two aircraft per day. Boeing’s archives are proprietary, but the company granted photographer Chad Slattery rare access to celebrate its 100-year history. Some are classics; others are weird, wonderful airplanes that didn’t make it past the modeler’s shop. –The Editors

Star of Screen and Sky

This 1956 model was an early concept for the Boeing 727, which quickly became an airline standard but ended up looking nothing like this design. The 727 was ultimately built with two engines on the rear fuselage and another on the tail. It was designed to operate on short hauls and shorter runways. It became a commercial icon, appearing in dozens of movies and TV shows, on album covers, and of course in hundreds of airports. It was the fastest selling airliner of its day.

About Chad Slattery

Based in Los Angeles, Chad Slattery is a freelance photographer (and occasional writer) who has specialized in aviation and aerospace subjects for the past 20 years. He regularly flies air-to-air photo flights in a specialized Learjet. A longtime Contributing Editor at the magazine, his hobby is collecting the vintage desktop models distributed by aircraft factories.

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