Past Experience: Boeings Long History with China

Lake Union, Seattle 1916

By John Levesque October 27, 2016

The first engineer that Bill Boeing hired was China-born Wong Tsoo, who helped design the companyís first commercial success, the Model C bi-wing airplane.

The Model C two-place training seaplane was the first "all-Boeing" design and the company's first financial success. A total of 56 C-type trainers were built. Fifty-five used twin pontoons. The Model C-1F had a single main pontoon and small auxiliary floats under each wing and was powered by a Curtiss OX-5 engine.

This article originally appeared in the November 2016 issue of Seattle Magazine.

China-born Wong Tsu, pictured in the foreground, was the first aeronautical engineer Bill Boeing hired at his fledgling airplane company. Wong, a graduate of MIT, designed the Model C bi-wing trainer, Boeings first commercial success. (The U.S. Navy bought 50.) The two-seat, open-cockpit seaplane the first all-Boeing design made its inaugural flight on November 15, 1916, over Lake Union. Wong returned to China in 1917 and helped establish that countrys aviation industry, ultimately designing more than two dozen aircraft.

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