On This Day

Donald Wills Douglas

Aviation Pioneer Donald Wills Douglas

Full Name: Donald Wills Douglas Sr.
Profession: Aviation Pioneer

United States of America

Biography: Douglas was an aviation pioneer who built the Douglas Cloudster, the first aircraft to have a payload greater than its own weight, but which failed in its intent to be the first to fly non-stop across the United States.

He later founded the Douglas Aircraft Company, which would later become McDonnell Douglas Corporation. In the early years of the aircraft industry he dominated his nearest rival, William Boeing, by building the popular Douglas DC-3 and its military counterpart the C-47 Skytrain. Boeing would later take over the industry by latching on to the jet age, which Douglas lagged behind in involving his company in.

Born: April 6, 1892
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, USA

Generation: Lost Generation
Star Sign: Aries

Died: February 1, 1981 (aged 88)

Historical Events

  • 1935-12-17 1st flight of the Douglas DC-3 (C-47 Skytrain/Dakota) airplane.
  • 1938-06-07 The Douglas DC-4E makes its 1st test flight
  • 1967-04-28 The Douglas Aircraft Company behind schedule with deliveries of the DC-8 and DC-9 and close to bankruptcy agrees to merge with the McDonnell Aircraft Corporation to form McDonnell Douglas

Famous Aviators