P.Bowers Boeing Aircraft since 1916 (Putnam)
MODEL 1 (B & W) - The first Boeing aeroplane design was a joint venture of William E Boeing and his assistants and Commander G Conrad Westervelt of the US Navy, who participated as a private individual while stationed in Seattle. The collaboration resulted in the designation of B & W for the two aeroplanes that were built to that initial design.
The first aeroplane was assembled in Boeing's new boathouse/hangar on Lake Union, after some components, including the pontoons, had been built in the shipyard. Construction was entirely conventional for the period, the structure being wood with wire bracing, all fabric covered. The engine was started by compressed air from a tank in the aft fuselage. The original control system was unique, a 'three-in-one', where forward movement of the control column worked the elevators, sideways motion moved the ailerons, and a wheel on top worked the rudder. There was no hand throttle; the pilot activated this with his right foot. This arrangement was quickly changed to the conventional Deperdussin control with rudder bar, while the original pontoons, which proved to be too small, were replaced with a larger and simplified design. The first B & W, named Bluebird, flew on June 29, 1916, and the second, named Mallard, flew in November. Both were sold to the New Zealand government in 1918 and were used as airmail carriers.
TECHNICAL DATA - B & W
Type: Utility seaplane
Accommodation: 2 in tandem
Power plant: Hall-Scott A-5, 125 hp
Span: 52 ft
Length: 31 ft 2 in overall
Wing area: 580 sq ft
Empty weight: 2,100 lb
Gross weight: 2,800 lb
Max speed: 75 mph
Cruising speed: 67 mph
Climb: 700 ft/min
Range: 320 miles
MODEL 1A (B & W 1A) - To commemorate its 50th anniversary on July 15, 1966, Boeing built a full-scale replica of its first aeroplane, the B & W, to emphasize the great advances made in aircraft design over the half century. Rather than give the replica a new Boeing c/n in the jet airliner range, it was given c/n 1A.
While the outward appearance was authentic, many internal changes were made in the interest of production economy, structural integrity, safety afloat, and airworthiness. Principal changes were the use of welded steel tubing for the fuselage and tail, modernized flight controls and instrumentation, and a modern Lycoming GO-435 engine de-rated to 170 hp. In spite of a 500-pound increase in empty weight, the increased engine power and improved aerodynamics gave the replica the same performance as the original.
Boeing requested the registration number 1916B. This was not available, so 1916L was assigned and applied very inconspicuously to the fuselage beneath the horizontal stabilizer.
Although the aircraft was completed and initially flown as a pure seaplane, bolt-on wheels were soon added to the floats to enable the replica to be demonstrated at air shows held on regular airports.