Douglas, Donald Wills

SUBJECT AREA: Aerospace
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b. 6 April 1892 Brooklyn, New York, USA
d. 1 February 1981 Palm Springs, California, USA
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American aircraft designer best known for bis outstanding airliner', the DC-3.
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In 1912 Donald Douglas went to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to study aeronautical engineering. After graduating in this relatively new subject he joined the Glenn L.Martin Company as Chief Engineer. In 1920 he founded the Davis-Douglas Company in California to build an aircraft capable of flying across America non-stop: unfortunately, the Cloudster failed to achieve its target. Douglas reorganized the company in 1921 as the Douglas Company (later it became the Douglas Aircraft Company). In 1924 a team of US Army personnel made the first round-the-world flight in specially designed Douglas World Cruisers, a feat which boosted Douglas's reputation considerably. This reputation was further enhanced by his airliner, designed in 1935, that revolutionized air travel: the Douglas Commercial 3, or DC-3, of which some 13,000 were built. A series of piston-engined airliners followed, culminating in the DC-7. Meanwhile, in the military field, Douglas aircraft played a major part in the Second World War. In the jet age Douglas continued to produce a wide range of successful civil and military aircraft, and the company also moved into the rocket and guided missile business. In 1966 Donald W. Douglas was still Chairman of the company, with Donald W.Douglas Jr as President. In 1967 the company merged with the McDonnell Aircraft Company to become the giant McDonnell Douglas Corporation.
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Principal Honours and Distinctions
American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics; Daniel Guggenheim Medal 1939.
Bibliography
1935, "The development and reliability of the modern multi-engined airliner", Journal of the Royal Aeronautical Society, London (lecture).
Further Reading
B.Yenne, 1985, McDonnell Douglas: A Tale of Two Giants, London (pays some attention to both Douglas and McDonnell, but also covers the history of the companies and the aircraft they produced).
René J.Francillon, 1979, McDonnell Douglas Aircraft since 1920, London; 1988, 2nd edn (a comprehensive history of the company's aircraft).
JDS

Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Donald Wills Douglas — (* 6. April 1892 in Brooklyn, New York; † 1. Februar 1981 in Palm Springs, Kalifornien) war ein US amerikanischer Flugzeugbauer. Sein von 1921 bis 1967 bestehendes Unternehmen, die Douglas Aircraft Company, war einer der erfolgreichsten… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • Donald Wills Douglas, Jr. — Olympic medal record Sailing Silver 1932 Los Angeles 6 metre class Donald Wills Douglas, Jr. (July 3, 1917 – October 3, 2004) was an American sailor who competed in the 1932 Summer Olympics. In 1932 he was a crew member of the American boat… …   Wikipedia

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  • Donald Douglas — Donald Wills Douglas (* 6. April 1892 in Brooklyn, New York; † 1. Februar 1981 in Palm Springs, Kalifornien) war ein US amerikanischer Flugzeugbauer. Sein von 1921 bis 1967 bestehendes Unternehmen, die Douglas Aircraft Company, war einer der… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Donald Willis Douglas — Donald Wills Douglas (* 6. April 1892 in Brooklyn, New York; † 1. Februar 1981 in Palm Springs, Kalifornien) war ein US amerikanischer Flugzeugbauer. Sein von 1921 bis 1967 bestehendes Unternehmen, die Douglas Aircraft Company, war einer der… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • Donald Douglas — may refer to: Donald Wills Douglas, Sr. (1892–1981), founder of Douglas Aircraft Company Donald Wills Douglas, Jr. (1917 2004), son of the founder and later president of the company Donald Douglas (actor), film and television actor Don Douglas… …   Wikipedia

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