US military and commercial aircraft manufacturer. Among the models Boeing has produced are the B-17 Flying Fortress, 1935; the B-52 Stratofortress, 1952; the Chinook helicopter, 1961; the first jetliner, the Boeing 707, 1957; the jumbo jet or Boeing 747, 1969; and the jetfoil, 1975.
The company was founded 1916 near Seattle, Washington, by William E Boeing (1881–1956) as the Pacific Aero Products Company. Renamed the following year, the company built its first seaplane and in 1919 set up an airmail service between Seattle and Victoria, British Columbia.
Boeing’s B-17 Flying Fortress and B-29 Superfortress were of great importance during World War II. The B-17 became the principal strategic bomber of the US Army Air Force and over 4,700 were in front-line service by mid-1944. The B-29 was devised as a replacement for the B-17 and first flew 1942, mainly seeing service in the Pacific Theatre. The Enola Gay, which dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima 6 Aug 1945, was a B-29.