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The Mighty Boeing Chapter Five:  The Orphan Engineer Turns to Research at Boeing and Fights Boredom

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Brilliant Bill was still lost in the Supersonic Transport program – somewhere in The Mighty Boeing Developmental Center – where the huge full-scale mural of The Boeing 2707 Supersonic Transport was displayed looking north up US Highway 99.

Since 1952, The Mighty Boeing had wanted to make a Supersonic Transport to compete with The British/French Concorde, and set up a permanent research committee in 1958. Brilliant Bill had gone to this program working on a prototype called the Boeing 2707 and later Model 733, designing delta wings and later swing-wings in 1959. 

The United States of America also wanted to make a Supersonic Transport to compete with the British/French Concorde, a project which had just been funded under President Kennedy in June 1963.  Later, in 1966, The United States of America would choose The Mighty Boeing’s design and they would join forces on the prototype Supersonic Transports (SSTs).

But Senator Proxmire from Wisconsin did not want the United States Government to be a part of a Supersonic Transport program and immediately declared war on the program. (America is a democracy, you see – so a Senator can tell The United States Government to screw off.)

Senator Proxmire sounds like the kind of Senator we miss in government today.

Looks like "our" 2707 is headed back to Seattle: of these programs left behind

interesting artifacts on the center’s

grounds. In one corner of the site are

the remains of a nonoperational

Minuteman missile silo.

Another famous artifact was the full-

size mock-up of the Boeing 2707-300

SST. The mock-up was sold when the

program was canceled in 1971. After

many years of storage and neglect in

Florida it was purchased by former

Boeing board member and helicopter

pioneer Stan Hiller, who moved what

remained to the Hiller Aviation Museum

in San Carlos, Calif.

Ironically, a production version of the

SST’s competition, the Anglo-French

Concorde, is on display in the Museum of

Flight air park adjacent to the center.

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