The B&W was the first Boeing product, named after designers William Boeing and Navy Lt. George Conrad Westervelt. 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. (Boeing Co.)

Scrappy at first, Boeing grew into a company built to last

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