The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary






Douglas Aircraft Company

The Douglas Aircraft Company was founded by Donald Wills Douglas, Sr. in July 1921.

It is most famous for the "DC" series of commercial aircraft, including what is often regarded as the most significant transport aircraft ever made, the DC-3. Douglas also created many aircraft for the United States armed forces, the Navy in particular.

The company initially built torpedo bombers for the U.S. Navy, but developed a number of variants on these aircraft including observer aircraft and a commercial airmail variant. Within five years the company was turning out over 100 aircraft annually. Among the early employees at Douglas were Edward Heinemann , James Kindelberger , and John Northrop. The company retained its military market and expanded into amphibians in the late 1920s, also moving its facilities to Santa Monica. The complex in Santa Monica was so large that the mail girls used roller skates to deliver the intra-company mail.

In 1934 Douglas produced a commercial two-engined transport, the DC-2, following it with the famous DC-3 in 1936.

In 1967, the company was merged with McDonnell Aircraft Corporation to form McDonnell Douglas, which in 1997 became a part of the Boeing Company.