Boeing History: Beginnings – The B & W

The Boeing B & W

The first B & W, completed in June 1916, was made of wood, linen, and wire. Similar to the Martin trainer that Boeing owned, the B & W had, among other improvements, better pontoons and a more powerful engine.

The two B & Ws were offered to the U.S. Navy. When the Navy did not buy them, they were sold to the New Zealand Flying School and became the company’s first international sale. The B & Ws later were used for New Zealand express and airmail deliveries, set a New Zealand altitude record of 6,500 feet on June 25, 1919, and made that country’s first official airmail flight on Dec. 16, 1919.

First flight: June 15, 1916
Model number: 1
Classification: Utility seaplane
Span: 52 feet
Length: 27 feet 6 inches
Gross weight: 2,800 pounds
Top speed: 75 mph
Cruising speed: 67 mph
Range: 320 miles
Power: 125-horsepower Hall-Scott A-5 engine
Accommodation: 2 crew