DOUGLAS

Company restructured as Douglas Aircraft Co. 30 November 1928, new location 3000 Ocean Park Blvd, Santa Monica, on Clover Field. Continued rapid expansion supported by observation, bomber, torpedo and civil aircraft. Company engineer John K. 'Jack' Northrop set up company 1932 operated as subsidiary: see Northrop. This took over former Moreland plant at El Segundo, another LA suburb, where Northrop and chief engineer Ed Heinemann produced Gamma, Delta, 8A/A-17 and BT/SBD Dauntless. In 1937 Northrop left, El Segundo becoming wholly-owned Douglas division responsible for Navy aircraft. Meanwhile Santa Monica chief engineer Arthur E. Raymond designed DC-1 airliner for TWA, flown 1 July 1933, leading to DC-2 (193) and DC-3 (10,655, mainly military and excluding 2,930 Soviet Li-2 and 486 Japanese L2D). This provided basis for 4-engined DC-4/C-54, DC-6 and DC-7. Heinemann’s team produced fast attack prototypes leading to DB-7/Boston/Havoc/A-20, total 7,385, and A-26/B-26 Invader, 1,355 built 1944-5, and excellent DC-5. Navy programmes included SBD Dauntless (5,936), AD (A-l) Skyraider (3,180), F4D (F-6) Skyray, A3D (A-3) Skywarrior, A4D (A-4) Skyhawk (2,980) and Mach 2 Skyrocket. Air Force programmes included C-74/124 Globemaster, C-133 Cargomaster and B-66 Destroyer. Wartime output 30,980 was second only to NAA, 9 major plants including Chicago, Long Beach and Tulsa, employment peak August 1943 at 157,200. Biggest gamble in company history was launch of DC-8 jetliner, no prospect of military order, on 7 June 1955; stretched Super Sixty series extended production to 556 by May 1972. From 1961 company gradually transferred all HQ services from Santa Monica to Long Beach, where DC-9 flew 25 February 1965. Severe cashflow problem resulted in 28 April 1967 merger with McDonnell, forming McDonnell Douglas Corporation. Douglas programmes include DC-10 large trijet (29 August 1970), 386 built plus 60 KC-10 Extender for USAF; MD-80 family of narrow-body twin-jets (18 October 1979), 2,000 sales; MD-90 twin-jet (22 Feb 1993) including MD-90-30T Trunkliner to be produced by SAMF in China; MD-11 improved derivative of DC-10 (10 January 1990), 180 orders late 1992; and C-17 airlifter for USAF (15 September 1991). Projects include high-capacity 4-engined MD-12, subject of long negotiations with Taiwan (see McDonnell Douglas), and MD-95 twin-jet to be developed jointly with Chinese industry. T-45A Goshawk transferred to McDonnell (later to Boeing).

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