Edward Curtis Wells

Edward Curtis Wells (August 26, 1910 – July 1, 1986) was senior vice president and served on the board of directors of Boeing Company.[1] He helped to design the Boeing 707, 747 and the B-17 Flying Fortress.[2][3] He was known as the "elder statesman of aviation".[4]

Edward Curtis Wells
BornAugust 26, 1910
DiedJuly 1, 1986 (aged 75)
EmployerBoeing Company


Wells was born in Boise, Idaho on August 26, 1910, and graduated from Grant High School in Portland, Oregon. He attended Willamette University for two years then attended Stanford University[4] where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1931 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in engineering.

Wells joined Boeing Company's engineering staff in 1931 and was named Boeing's chief engineer in 1943.[4][5]

He died on July 1, 1986 in Bellevue, Washington.[2]



  1. ^ Herman, Arthur. Freedom's Forge: How American Business Produced Victory in World War II, pp. 291-6, 301-7, 332-3, Random House, New York, NY, 2012. ISBN 978-1-4000-6964-4.
  2. ^ a b "Edward C. Wells, 75, Designed Boeing 747". Associated Press in New York Newsday. July 4, 1986. Retrieved 2011-11-15. Edward C. Wells, who for nearly a half-century helped designsome of the world's most famous aircraft, including the Boeing B-52and 747, died Tuesday at age 75.
  3. ^ Turner, Wallace (July 3, 1986). "Edward C. Wells, 75, is dead; key designer of B-17 bomber". The New York Times. Retrieved February 1, 2016.
  4. ^ a b c d "Edward Curtis Wells, Medalist for 1980" (PDF). Daniel Guggenheim Medal. Retrieved 2011-11-16. The 'Elder Statesman of Aviation,' a title bestowed on him by the national Aeronautic Association, died in 1986 in Bellevue, Washington.
  5. ^ Herman, Arthur. Fredom's Forge: How American Business Produced Victory in World War II, pp. 291-6, Random House, New York, NY, 2012. ISBN 978-1-4000-6964-4.

Further reading

  • Geer, Mary Wells. Boeing's Ed Wells. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1992. ISBN 0-295-97204-1.
  • Serling, Robert J. Legend & Legacy: The Story of Boeing and its People. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1992. ISBN 0-312-05890-X.
Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress

The Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress is a four-engined heavy bomber developed in the 1930s for the United States Army Air Corps (USAAC). Competing against Douglas and Martin for a contract to build 200 bombers, the Boeing entry (prototype Model 299/XB-17) outperformed both competitors and exceeded the air corps' performance specifications. Although Boeing lost the contract (to the Douglas B-18 Bolo) because the prototype crashed, the air corps ordered 13 more B-17s for further evaluation. From its introduction in 1938, the B-17 Flying Fortress evolved through numerous design advances, becoming the third-most produced bomber of all time, behind the four-engined B-24 and the multirole, twin-engined Ju 88.

The B-17 was primarily employed by the USAAF in the daylight strategic bombing campaign of World War II against German industrial and military targets. The United States Eighth Air Force, based at many airfields in central, eastern and southern England, and the Fifteenth Air Force, based in Italy, complemented the RAF Bomber Command's nighttime area bombing in the Combined Bomber Offensive to help secure air superiority over the cities, factories and battlefields of Western Europe in preparation for the invasion of France in 1944. The B-17 also participated to a lesser extent in the War in the Pacific, early in World War II, where it conducted raids against Japanese shipping and airfields.From its prewar inception, the USAAC (by June 1941, the USAAF) promoted the aircraft as a strategic weapon; it was a relatively fast, high-flying, long-range bomber with heavy defensive armament at the expense of bombload. It developed a reputation for toughness based upon stories and photos of badly damaged B-17s safely returning to base. The B-17 dropped more bombs than any other U.S. aircraft in World War II. Of approximately 1.5 million tons of bombs dropped on Nazi Germany and its occupied territories by U.S. aircraft, over 640,000 tons were dropped from B-17s. In addition to its role as a bomber, the B-17 was also employed as a transport, antisubmarine aircraft, drone controller, and search-and-rescue aircraft.

As of October 2019, 9 aircraft remain airworthy, though none of them were ever flown in combat. Dozens more are in storage or on static display. The oldest of these is a D-series flown in combat in the Pacific and the Caribbean.

Daniel Guggenheim Medal

The Daniel Guggenheim Medal is an American engineering award, established by Daniel and Harry Guggenheim. The medal is considered to be one of the greatest honors that can be presented for a lifetime of work in aeronautics. Recipients have included American and international individuals from aeronautical corporations, governments, and academia.

Since 1929 it has been given annually to persons who make notable achievements in the advancement of aeronautics. It is awarded jointly by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the Society of Automotive Engineers, the American Helicopter Society, and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics administers the award.

Edward Curtis (disambiguation)

Edward S. Curtis (1868–1952) was an American photographer.

Edward Curtis may also refer to:

Edward Curtis (politician) (1801–1856), U.S. Representative from New York

Edward Curtis (athlete) (1899-1926), American Olympic athlete

Ed Curtis (baseball) (1843–1914), American manager in Major League Baseball

Edward B. Curtis (born 1933), American mathematician

Edward C. Curtis (1865–1920), American politician

Edward Peck Curtis (1897–1987), World War I ace

Edward Wells

Edward Wells may refer to:

Edward Wells (theologian) (1667–1727), English mathematician, geographer, and controversial theologian

Edward Wells (MP) (1821–1910), English Conservative Party politician, MP for Wallingford 1872–80

Edward Curtis Wells (1910–1986), director of Boeing Company, designer of the Boeing 747

Grant High School (Portland, Oregon)

President Ulysses S. Grant High School (colloquially Grant High School) is a public high school in the Grant Park neighborhood of Portland, Oregon, United States.

List of Willamette University alumni

This is a list of the notable alumni of Willamette University, a post-secondary school in Salem, Oregon in the United States. Founded in 1842 as the Oregon Institute, alumni have included those in Congress, the state government, and in the federal and state courts.

Note that the people listed may have only attended the university and may not have graduated.

List of aerospace engineers

This is a list of notable aerospace engineers, people who were trained in or practiced aerospace engineering.

See also List of engineers for people from other disciplines.

Tony Jannus Award

The Tony Jannus Award recognizes outstanding individual achievement in scheduled commercial aviation by airline executives, inventors and manufacturers, and government leaders. The award is conferred annually by the Tony Jannus Distinguished Aviation Society and was first bestowed in 1964 in Tampa, Florida, U.S. Its namesake, aviation pioneer Tony Jannus (1889–October 12, 1916), piloted the inaugural flight of the St. Petersburg–Tampa Airboat Line on January 1, 1914, the first scheduled commercial airline flight in the world using heavier-than-air aircraft. In addition to preserving the legacy of Tony Jannus, the non-profit Society also offers financial assistance to college students pursuing studies in aviation and conducts an annual essay contest for high school students to encourage careers in aviation.

Past recipients of the award include such famed luminaries as Eddie Rickenbacker, Donald Douglas, Jimmy Doolittle, C. R. Smith (the founder of American Airlines), William A. Patterson (president of United Airlines 1934–1966), and Chuck Yeager. Those so honored are enshrined at the St. Petersburg Museum of History's First Airline Pavilion. The Museum, located 100 yards (91 m) from the site of the inaugural flight's takeoff on January 1, 1914, also has an operational replica of the Benoist XIV airplane flown by Jannus that day. On January 29, 2011, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics dedicated an historic site plaque on the museum's grounds, commemorating the site of the world’s first regularly scheduled airline.


This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.