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15th of June 1916

This day in aviation saw the first flight of the first aircraft of what is now one of the biggest aeronautical companies in the world, Boeing. The Boeing Model 1 (aka B & W Seaplane) was the first product that was constructed at the Boeing Boathouse Hangar at Lake Union Seattle The other name for the aircraft "B & W Seaplane" carries the first letters of the designers, William Boeing & Lt. George Westervelt (US Navy).


The aircraft was made of a wooden frame, covered in linen and reinforced with wire bracing and had two pontoons. It looked similar to the Martin Trainer aircraft William Boeing owned but was uncomparable, with better pontoons and a much stronger engine. The engine was a single Hall-Scott A-5 Straight-6 piston engine, with an overhead camshaft, providing 125 HP (although some sources state that it produced 165 HP) to a two-bladed wooden propellor.


A Hall Scott A-5A straight 6 Engine

The first aircraft, named Bluebill, first flew on this day in aviation history 105 years ago. The second aircraft, named Mallard, first flew in November of that year.


Both aircraft were offered to the US Navy, who were not interested in buying them, In 1919 they were offered to the New Zealand Flying School (Founded in 1915 by Leo and Vivian Walsh in Auckland, to train pilots for the Royal Flying Corps). Both aircraft were purchased by and shipped to the New Zealand Flying School. Making it the first international sale of the Boeing company.


One of the two aircraft set an altitude record for New Zealand at the time of 6.500 ft (1981 m) on the 25th of June 1919. Another achievement worth mentioning is the first official New Zealand airmail flight with one of the Boeing Model 1 aircraft on the 16th of December 1919. Some specifications for the Boeing Model 1 / B & W Seaplane

Crew: 2

Length: 27 ft 6 in (8.38 m)

Wingspan: 52 ft 0 in (15.86 m)

Wing area: 580 sq ft (53.9 m2)

Empty weight: 2,100 lb (953 kg)

Gross weight: 2,800 lb (1,272 kg)

Powerplant: 1 × Hall-Scott A-5 Straight-6 piston engine , 125 hp (93 kW)

Maximum speed: 75 mph (121 km/h, 65 kn)

Cruise speed: 67 mph (109 km/h, 58 kn)

Range: 320 mi (518 km, 280 nmi)

Rate of climb: 700 ft/min (3.56 m/s)

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