Aviation trio turns 100
Not that many people in the world make it to 100 years old. Fewer companies can make that claim as well, but at least three aviation giants have made the century mark this year – Boeing, Dassault and AAV’s media colleague, Aviation Week & Space Technology.
As American aviation giant Boeing says in its own history, “during the past 100 years humans went from walking on Earth to walking on the moon.” And Boeing has been there to play key roles in the development of everything from airplanes to seaplanes to missiles, heavy bombers, the Saturn V rocket that put men on the moon and the X-15 that flew at supersonic speeds for NASA.
Based in Chicago, Boeing was incorporated in 1916 by William Boeing and its original home was a shipyard in Seattle that Boeing bought earlier in 1910. Starting with seaplanes and moving to Navy trainers for World War I, the company soon grew to develop and build fighters, mail carriers, and made a name for itself in World II with strategic bombers.
In the 1950s technology advanced and Boeing began developing missiles as well as commercial jetliners and later, in the 1960s, started building helicopters. It was in the 1960s that Boeing also started to develop its iconic superjumbo jet, the 747, that endures to this day, as does one of the most popular planes in aviation history, the 737 jetliner. In more recent years the company has also broken new ground with its 777 jetliner and the 787 Dreamliner with new composite materials and other technical innovations.
And Boeing still has an eye on the stars with its development of the Commercial Crew Transportation System that it hopes to put in orbit in 2017.
As the old saying goes, from small beginnings come big things. With Dassault, it all started with a new, more efficient propeller used by French airplanes in World War I over the skies of Verdun in 1916 that was designed by founder Marcel Bloch, who later changed his last name to Dassault. The company, which is part of the larger Groupe Industriel Marcel Dassault, is the only aerospace company in the world still a part of its founding family.
The company has grown through the past 100 years, moving from wooden propellers to canvas-covered airplanes to all-metel trimotors to deliver the mail and, in later years, to commercial aircraft, fighter jets, missiles and other technology like unmanned combat vehicles.
Dassault initially developed its sterling reputation with its Ouragan-Mystère jet fighters, followed by the legendary Mirage family and later in the 1960s the company added the Falcon family of business jets to its business portfolio.
The company is proud of its dual-technology development for both military and civilian aviation technology and says these “broad synergies” help it maintain a level of competitiveness “far exceeding the industry norm in France and Europe”.
Aviation Week & Space Technology
The magazine was originally published on 1 August 1916 as Aviation and Aeronautical Engineering, and over the years went by several different titles including Aviation, Aviation News, Aviation Week, then Aviation Week Including Space Technology in 1958 before finally changing to its current title, Aviation Week & Space Technology, in 1962.
The magazine is part of the larger Aviation Week Network which is probably the largest multimedia information and services provider to the global aviation, aerospace and defence industries with more than 1.2 million readers.
In its centenary publication, Aviation Week tells us that the “science of aeronautics had just passed through the period of rule-of-thumb design and empirical experimentation” and that it had been viewed only a few years before as the “province of dolts and thrillseekers”.
Enter Lester D. Gardner, the magazine’s founding publisher, who with a degree in engineering administration from MIT in 1898 and the right connections started a journal of record that would outlast him. He was joined by other founding members like Glenn Luther Martin, a top American aviation industrialists and perhaps more importantly, a regular advertiser.
“I think Mr. Gardner would be proud that the Aviation Week team has continued to excel at providing accurate, scientific and unbiased information that serves as a great stimulus to the success of the industry,” Gregory Hamilton, president and group publisher of Aviation Week, said in company presentations about the 100th anniversary. “Even as our content is now deployed via print, digital, and event channels around the world and into space, we commit to the industry that these values of utility and service will continue to be our guiding light.”