For Russian Airlines, Boeing is the way to fly

Seventy-nine percent of all Western aircraft bought by Russian companies in 2003 were made by Boeing Corporation, Sergey Kravchenko, president of Boeing in Russia, said at a press conference here Wednesday.

Boeing built and delivered 87 of the 110 civil-aviation planes imported by Russia in 2003, he said. The remaining 23 came from Airobus, he said. Boeing dominates the Russian civil-aviation market, he said.

On top of this, Kravchenko said, 30 Boeing planes were delivered to other countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States. In all, worldwide, the company sold 181 planes.

Boeing was the world leader in aircraft construction throughout the second half of the 20th century. Originally known as Pacific Aero Products, it was founded by William Boeing (1881-1956) and an American naval officer, G. Conrad Vesterveld.

In the 1920s Boeing Airplane Company produced military and civilian aircraft. Among its most successful designs is the passenger airliner Boeing 707, created in 1954-55 and in production since 1958. The Boeing 727, powered by three giant engines, came in 1964. Then came the four-engine Boeing 747 (1970) had twice the capacity of any previous airliner. It is also true that 747s have been involved in more accidents in the past 20 years than any other type of comparable plane.

Boeing was the main US producer of civil-aviation craft for export throughout the 20th century. It now sells, in addition to civil-aviation aircraft, a full line of military airplanes and helicopters. Company headquarters are in Seattle, Washington.

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