Aircraft Built by Boeing Aircraft Company

Stearman Kaydet Trainer

The Boeing Model 75 “Kaydet” trainer established itself as the best-known primary trainer of the World War II era. Produced by the Stearman Division of Boeing (Wichita), the Kaydet had its roots in the Stearman Model 70 built in 1933. Although at the onset of World War II, the Kaydet was considered an antiquated design, its robust airframe was perfect for absorbing the rigors of pilot training. Powered by a variety of radial engines (220 HP Lycoming, as well as Jacobs and Continentals), the Kaydet barely cruised at a little over 100 MPH with a 12,000-foot altitude. Following World War II, many Kaydet biplanes were adapted to crop dusting duties.

Boeing B-29

Originally envisioned as a means to bomb Germany from U.S. Bases, the Boeing B-29 Superfortress is best remembered for it’s role in resolving the war in the Pacific. Specifically, it was the B-29 named the “Enola Gay” that dropped the Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima that accelerated the conclusion of war with Japan. The B-29 utilized four of the most powerful radial engines (2,200 HP Wright Cyclone Radial engines) to deliver atomic and conventional bomb payloads from its twin bomb bays. Pressurized crew areas and remote controlled, computer driven defensive armament made the B-29 truly the super bomber of it’s time. The B-29 had a crew of 10, and could attain a top speed of 357 MPH.

Boeing B-47

Following World War II, the Boeing B-47 Stratojet served as a medium bomber to counter the brunt of the cold war threats up until the Boeing B-52 was built. Featuring swept wings (35 degrees) and six General Electric J-47 engines (5,800 pounds of thrust each), the B-47 could fly up to 617 MPH with a range of up to 4,000 miles. With a crew of 3, this aircraft was capable of flying in the stratosphere (located between 7 and 50 miles above the earth) with a ceiling altitude of about 42,000 feet. In order to compensate for the high wing-loading and slow rate of acceleration upon take-off, early B-47’s used the assist of up to 18 auxiliary rockets (collectively rated at 42,000 pounds of thrust) to launch the fully loaded aircraft into the air.

Boeing B-52

Built from 1954 to 1962, the Boeing B-52 “Stratofortress” served as the follow-on replacement for the Boeing B-47 “Stratojet”, and has been utilized as America’s main intercontinental heavy bomber up through the Millennium. To underscore this remarkable feat of longevity, it is interesting to note that originally the XB-52 was originally conceived in 1946 as a straight winged turboprop heavy bomber. Eventually the design would evolve into a swept wing bomber that would feature eight jet engines (10,000 pounds of thrust each) and serve to propel the B-52 to an altitude of about 50,000 feet. The final variant, the B-52H, used improved performance engines of 17,000 pounds of thrust that would yield a speed of about 650 MPH. The B-52 Stratofortress utilized a crew of 6, and possessed a range of 12,500 miles. Total production for the B-52 was 744 aircraft.

Boeing 737

Hailed as the world’s most popular commercial passenger jet, the Boeing 737 series of aircraft continues to this day to dominate the world market. Originally conceived as an answer to the dominance of the Douglas DC-9, the Boeing 737 has since eclipsed the Douglas aircraft by pure numbers in service. Featuring 6 abreast seating and a cargo convertible interior, the 737 became very popular with a variety of worldwide operators. The engines, mounted on low-slung pylons were relatively easy to work on. The aircraft also offered good performance on short, high altitude fields and overall returned lower operating costs compared to its competitors. Since 1965, 75 percent of all 737 sub-assembly work and major component manufacture has been accomplished in Wichita, Kansas, with cockpit, cabin and tail assemblies being shipped by rail from Wichita to Renton, Washington for final assembly, flight-testing and delivery.

Boeing 747

With work started in 1967, the development of the Boeing 747 “Jumbo Jet” commercial air transport aircraft took an amazingly short 16 months. Developed at Boeings Everett, Washington plant, the model 747 has been designed as either an all-passenger (with 3 decks), all-cargo or convertible (passenger or cargo) variant, with the all-cargo or convertible aircraft featuring a nose section that hinges to allow superior cargo loading / unloading. Considering that the Boeing 747 is about as long as a football field, that the cockpit is 3 stories high, and that the tail is 6 stories high, it is no wonder that it requires 16 main gear wheels to support it’s 700,000 pound gross weight. The Boeing Wichita Division plays an important part in building the 747 with the cockpit nose section, engine nacelles, struts and wing center-section being produced here and then being shipped to Washington for final assembly. In 1990, two Boeing 747’s were delivered from Wichita after being flown in and custom outfitted under ultra high-security measures to serve as Air Force One aircraft.