posted October 08, 2004 01:56 PM
From a posting on Air Transport World...
Former Douglas Aircraft Co. President Donald Douglas Jr. died Monday. He was 87 and had been ill for most of this year. Douglas took over as president from his father, Donald Douglas Sr., in the late 1950s and was one of the major driving forces behind the Super DC-8 program and the DC-9. Judged by history as having been responsible for the downfall of Douglas Aircraft Co., it was in fact his father's late commitment to the DC-8 and performance problems with initial models of that aircraft that lost the company the race with Boeing. Douglas merged with McDonnell Corp. in 1967. In 1972, Douglas Jr. tried to persuade James McDonnell that McDonnell Douglas should seek a joint venture with then-emerging Airbus Industrie but to no avail. In later years, "Mr. Mac's" nephew, Sandy McDonnell, conceded in a staff magazine that St. Louis "should have listened to Douglas executives" on a range of issues; "They knew the business, we did not." In a touch of irony, Douglas Jr. was to attend next week the departure from the now-Boeing plant at Long Beach of the restored DC-2 that will fly to its new home at the Seattle Museum of Flight.--GT
Note: I was going to meet him at the DC-2's arrival here in Seattle. The aircraft is actually going to be part of the collection of the National Flight Interpretive Center (aka the new Boeing Tour Center - operated by the Museum of Flight) which will open next summer. I am deeply involved with the project. His passing is sad news since he was such a key figure with the early U.S. space program... :-(
Jake Schultz - curator,
Newport Way Air Museum (OK, it's just my home)