Wide-body: the triumph of the 747

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W. Morrow, 1993 - Business & Economics - 384 pages
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In the twentieth century, a handful of American companies have - with the introduction of a single product or product line - literally transformed the lives of millions. Among them are Xerox, IBM, and AT&T. But only one company - Boeing - undertook the single massive speculative leap, a billion-dollar gamble, of the kind that resulted in the 747 and ultimately transformed the world's transportation habits. Today, little more than twenty years after the first 747 rolled off the line, the Boeing Jumbo is probably the most recognizable artifact of American technological achievement in the world. Yet the behind-the-scenes story of its birth is largely unknown. In Wide-Body, Clive Irving shows how the creation of the 747 transformed the destiny of the Boeing Company and, at the same time, how such a "bet the company" decision was very much of a piece with Boeing's history, going right back to its roots and remoteness in the Pacific Northwest. The story of the 747 is an aviation adventure of the first order. The odyssey of the plane is studded with heroism under pressure, technological wizardry, and a tradition of test pilots deeply imbued with the right stuff. Equally fascinating is the story of the business culture behind the plane: a culture shaped by a generation of brilliant young engineers who made Boeing the world leader in commercial aviation. Often in dispute, always innovative, they were led by a lawyer, reluctant to accept the job, who became steely-nerved in the face of gigantic risks. To win primacy, Boeing had to outperform its two most-feared rivals, Douglas and Lockheed. Several times the outcome was in the balance. There were agile deals with generals, often frustrated bydouble-dealing politicians. The company's fate culminates in a secretive deal between two magnates determined to dominate their respective industries. There has never seemed a better time to be reminded of this triumphant and uniquely American business story.

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WIDE-BODY: The Triumph of the 747

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

The art of designing a passenger plane now requires striking a fine balance among such factors as fuel efficiency, payload, range, and speed. As this engrossing saga of how Boeing developed its ... Read full review

Wide-body: the triumph of the 747

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

This intriguing book is as much a history of commercial passenger aviation as it is of the development of the Boeing 747 wide-body jet airplane. Given the cast of characters, which is as large as that ... Read full review


Part One General Crocco Draws on a Napkin
The First Shall Be Last

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