The History of Boeing Company

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Company History:
The Boeing Company is the largest aerospace company in the world, thanks to its 1997 merger with McDonnell Douglas Corporation and its 1996 purchase of the defense and space units of Rockwell International Corporation. The corporation is the world 's number one maker of commercial jetliners and military aircraft. Boeing has more than 9,000 commercial aircraft in service worldwide, including the 717 through 777 families of jets and the MD-80, MD-90, and MD-11. In the defense sector, the company makes military aircraft, including fighter, transport, and attack aircraft; helicopters; and missiles. In addition to its position as the nation 's top NASA contractor--and the leader of the U.S. industry team for the International
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Boeing also purchased Varney Airlines, which began operation in 1925 and won almost every mail contract it applied for until it became overextended and had financial difficulties.

1929-34: 'United ' Era

With the addition of National Air Transport, Boeing 's airline holdings formed the original United Air Lines. In 1928 all these companies were organized under a holding company called the Boeing Aircraft and Transportation Company. In 1929 a larger holding company was formed, the United Aircraft and Transportation Company. Included in this group were the 'United ' airlines and Stout Airlines; Pratt & Whitney (engines); Boeing, Sikorsky, Northrop, and Stearman (manufacturers); and Standard Steel Prop and Hamilton Aero Manufacturing (propellers). Boeing was made chairman of the company and Fred Rentschler of Pratt & Whitney was named president.

Boeing and Rentschler became extremely wealthy in this reorganization by exchanging stock with the holding company in a method similar to J.P. Morgan 's controversial capital manipulation. They multiplied their original investments by a factor of as much as 200,000 times. It was, however, entirely legal at the time. In 1933 the government conducted an investigation of fraud and other illegal practices in the airline industry. Boeing was called upon to testify and explain his windfall profits before a Senate investigating
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