The B&W was the first airplane designed and built by Boeing. On June 15, 1916, Mr. Boeing himself took the B&W aloft for the first time. Later, Boeing showed the plane to the Navy in hopes of a contract but was turned down. Both the first B&W ever built, nicknamed the "Bluebill," and the second, called the "Mallard," which was built the following November, were eventually acquired by the government of New Zealand.
The Museum's B&W is a 1966 replica built for The Boeing Company's 50th anniversary. Though externally similar to the original B&W, it incorporates a number of design changes for safety and ease of construction such as revised tail surfaces, steel-tube fuselage, and a different engine. While the original B&W has one Hall-Scott A-5, 125-horsepower engine, the Museum's replica has a Lycoming GO-435 170-horsepower engine.
Boeing and Westervelt
Prominent timber man William E. Boeing met a Navy engineer named Conrad Westervelt at Seattle's University Club. He found that they had similar interests -- both bachelors liked boating and bridge, had studied engineering, and shared a fascination with the dawning field of aviation. On July 4, 1914, they arranged for their first flights in a seaplane. They were impressed, but both men agreed that they could build a better airplane. The result was the B&W, named after the initials of its creators.
The B&W's basic design was derived from a Martin T.A. Trainer that Mr. Boeing had purchased after taking flying lessons at Glenn Martin's school in Los Angeles. As he honed his flying skills with the seaplane, Boeing's creative mind raced ahead, figuring improvements and innovations that he would incorporate into his B&W. The most important changes were a lighter, improved aerodynamic wing section and twin pontoon configuration that gave the B&W better and safer landings.
This aircraft is on loan from The Boeing Company.
Help us preserve this historic artifact for future generations. Click here to find out about the Museum's Adopt-A-Plane program.