Early Seattle Aviation and the Boeing Company, 1916-1941

Boeing aircraft

How and when did early aviation begin in Seattle? How did Bill Boeing get into the aircraft business? What was he thinking when he did? These and other similar questions are often asked by travelers to the Seattle area and Boeing employees. 

Aviator and aviation historian Mike Lavelle will address these and other questions, covering the time period from 1910, when Bill Boeing first became interested in aviation, to the beginning of World War II. Included will be key people, aircraft, and engineering innovations that were responsible for Boeing’s survival during their first 25 years in the aircraft industry, when Boeing transitioned from wood and fabric aircraft structures to the streamlined high-performance metal, four-engine transport aircraft.

About the Speaker:

A 1971 ASU graduate, Mike Lavelle has 50+ years of aviation/ aerospace experience, including 12 years at Cessna Aircraft Company and 24 years with the Boeing Company. Lavelle’s assignments were in flight crew and maintenance training management roles for both commercial and military programs. After retiring from Boeing, he spent seven years as a director at the Museum of Flight in Seattle.

An FAA flight instructor with 7000+ hours in a variety of aircraft, he is also a certified airframe and powerplant mechanic. A Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society of Great Britain and now an aviation historian, his areas of interest span from the early days of aeronautics into the jet age.

This event is part of the Aviation Speaker Series of the College of Integrative Sciences and Arts at ASU Polytechnic campus.


College of Integrative Sciences and Arts
Valerie Adams, Senior Lecturer
Tues., January 28, 3 - 4:15 p.m.
Room 210
Peralta Hall
Polytechnic campus

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