During the early years of Boeing and companies that have become part of Boeing over time, there have been many interactions with the United Kingdom. This includes early activity, such as with the Bristol Aeroplane Company providing engines to Douglas DC-2B variant aircraft in the mid 1930s. Significant activity between Boeing, its legacy companies and the UK, which began in earnest in 1938 and has gone from strength to strength since then, is set out below.

  • 9 June, 1938: The North American "Harvard," based on the original trainers, is sold to the British Government for aerial reconnaissance and training.
  • 24 June, 1939: Pan American inaugurated the first transatlantic northern mail service to Southampton in a Boeing 314 Yankee Clipper.
  • 28 June, 1939: Pan American inaugurated the first regular passenger service from New York to Southampton using the Boeing 314 Dixie Clipper.
  • 20 March, 1941: Three Boeing 314A aircraft were bought by the British government and allotted to The British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) for use as transport aircraft. The Boeing 314 aircraft were well known for the fact that they carried Winston Churchill on his intercontinental journeys.
  • 1 September, 1941: The Boeing Airplane Co. Field Service Unit formally begins operating, and in 1941 the first overseas field representatives will be assigned to the B-17s in England.
  • July 1942: The US began forming the Eighth Air Force in Britain, equipped with B-17Es. The B-17s were flown by the United States Army Air Corps (USAAC), throughout the American participation in the Second World War to bombard German targets in Europe during daylight hours.
  • 4 July, 1942: Six air crews, flying A-20 Boston bombers borrowed from the RAF, joined six British crews on a low-level raid against air bases in Holland.
  • 9 July, 1943: U.S. Army Air Forces Douglas-built C-47s, along with British RAF DC-3 Dakotas, start spectacular night operations for the invasion of Sicily by towing gliders from North Africa across the Mediterranean.
  • 6 June, 1944: More than 1,000 military Douglas DC-3 and C-47 aircraft, many towing troop-carrying gliders, airlift more than 20,000 paratroopers and their weapons across the English Channel during the first hours of D-Day.
  • 16 February, 1948: United States Air Force (USAF) bomb groups equipped with the Boeing B29 Superfortress participate in air defence exercises with RAF Fighter Command for the first time.
  • 27 May, 1960: The British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) introduces the Boeing 707-436 aircraft on its London to New York service.
  • 25 April, 1971: The British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) operates its first Boeing 747 flight between London Heathrow and New York.
  • 8 February, 1981: British Airways Helicopters receive the first of its six Boeing Vertol 234 Commercial Chinooks.
  • 9 May, 1981: Rolls-Royce begins testing the RB211-535C turbofan engine for the new Boeing 757 airliner.
  • 1 July, 1981: British Airways Helicopters starts Boeing Vertol 234 Chinook services to offshore gas and oil platforms.
  • 24 May, 1982: British Airways operates its last flight using the Boeing 707, which has been in service with the British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) and British Airways for 22 years.
  • 17 August, 1983: Rolls-Royce begins flight testing the new RB211-534E4 turbofan engine, which is destined for use in the Boeing 757.
  • September 1983 - March 1984: Royal Air Force (RAF) Boeing Chinook helicopters of No.7 and No.18 Squadrons supported the British Army detachment in Lebanon.
  • 27 October, 1988: Air United Kingdom becomes the first airline based outside the United States to operate the Boeing 737-400 airliner.
  • 5 February, 1991: the first of eight United States Air Force (USAF) Strategic Air Command Boeing B52 Stratofortress bombers deployed to the United Kingdom to participate in Operation Desert Storm arrives at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire.
  • 14 April, 1991: Operation Haven: Royal Air Force Boeing Chinooks participate in an airlift of humanitarian aid to Kurdish refugees sheltering in Turkey.
  • 3 November, 1998: British Airways takes delivery of its 50th Boeing 747-400.
  • 23 May, 2001: the Boeing C17 Globemaster III is formally accepted into Royal Air Force service, with No.99 Squadron and made its operational debut with the RAF during the Afghanistan conflict.
  • 14 September, 2004: Boeing announces plans to invest £7m in building a new Alteon training centre at Gatwick Airport.
  • November, 2005: European Sales and Marketing Headquarters opens at Heathrow House.
  • 10 November, 2005: Boeing 777-200LR Worldliner jet lands at Heathrow Airport after breaking the record for the longest non-stop passenger airline flight, after a 12,500-mile trip from Hong Kong the “long way round”.
  • 14 February, 2006: Rolls-Royce conduct the first ‘turn and burn’ test on the Trent 1000 engine that will power the 787 Dreamliner.
  • 22 May, 2006: Boeing formally commences work on the 34 year Through Life Contractor Support program for the RAF’s fleet of Chinook helicopters.
  • 17 April, 2007: Boeing officially opens its new Defence Systems Engineering and Integration facility in Bristol, UK.
  • 11 July, 2007: QinetiQ and Boeing open The Portal, a new decision-support capability at QinetiQ’s Cody Technology Park site in Farnborough, UK.
  • 18 July, 2007: A Boeing Chinook Exhibition is officially opened by Baroness Thatcher at the Royal Air Force Museum in Hendon, UK.
  • 13 November, 2007: The X-45A Joint Unmanned Combat Air System is awarded the Johnston Memorial Trophy by the United Kingdom Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators.
  • 24 February, 2008: Boeing, Virgin Atlantic and GE Aviation conduct the first commercial aviation flight using a sustainable biomass-to-liquid fuel mixed with traditional kerosene-based jet fuel.
  • July, 2008: Boeing increases commitment to the UK and integrates its defence programmes under Boeing Defence UK.
  • 17 December, 2008: Boeing and the Royal Aeronautical Society launch the Schools Build a Plane Challenge.
  • January 2009: Helicopter support was consolidated within Boeing Defence UK with the formation of UK Rotorcraft Support (RCS).
  • April, 2009: The UK’s C-17s, in service with the RAF since 2001, log 50,000 flight hours.
  • 18 July, 2010: The Boeing 787 Dreamliner makes its debut outside the United States at the 2010 Farnborough International Airshow.
  • December 2010: The British Military Tournament, sponsored by Boeing, returns to the calendar after an 11 year absence.
  • 28 February, 2011: Boeing delivers Ryanair’s 300th 737-800.
  • 26 May, 2011: Boeing announces the UK Supplier Team to deliver the Log NEC programme for the Ministry of Defence.
  • 22 August, 2011: Boeing receives a contract from the UK to supply 14 new Chinooks.
  • 6 October, 2011: Boeing supports Thomson Airways as it operates the first revenue biofuel flight in the UK, a 757 powered by a 50-50 blend of traditional jet fuel and used cooking oil in one of the engines, that carried 232 passengers on a four-hour flight from Birmingham, UK, to Lanzarote, Spain.
  • 25 October, 2011: Boeing signs an agreement with the University of Nottingham to advance research into the recycling of carbon fibre.
  • 26 October, 2011: Boeing dedicates ‘Dakota House’, Boeing’s newest facility in Bristol.
  • 3 November, 2011: Boeing and the Imperial War Museum celebrate the opening of "War Story: Serving in Afghanistan".
  • 2 December, 2011: Boeing opens the Boeing Portal in a new facility in Fleet, Hampshire.
  • 4 February, 2012: Boeing begins final wind tunnel testing of the 737 MAX with work taking place in partnership with QinetiQ in Farnborough.
  • 23 April, 2012: Boeing and 13 UK-based suppliers and partners as well as airline customers Thomson Airways, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic, welcomed the Boeing 787 Dream Tour to the UK.
  • 18 May, 2012: Boeing delivers the eighth C-17 for the UK RAF, less than two months after the contract was signed.
  • 30 May, 2012: Boeing and the Air League launch 10 flying scholarships for young people for 2013.
  • 13 July, 2012: Boeing launches the ‘Boeing Aviation Studies Certificate’ in partnership with the Royal Aeronautical Society to build on the success of the Schools Build a Plane Challenge. Boeing also launches additional flying scholarships with the Air League and Help for Heroes for wounded servicemen and women.
  • 25 July, 2012: Boeing is the first company to sign up to the MoD’s New Industrial Engagement Policy.
  • October, 2012: Boeing dedicates “Turing House” in Milton Keynes.
  • April, 2013: Boeing and the Royal Aeronautical Society celebrate the first flight of the Schools Build a Plane Challenge with Yateley School from Hampshire and their partner schools Court Moor in Fleet and Kings College, Guildford.
  • 31 May, 2013: The first Boeing 787 Dreamliner for a UK airline, Thomson Airways, arrived at Manchester Airport following its delivery flight from Seattle.
  • 16 June, 2014: Chinook Mk 6 entry into service with the Royal Air Force
  • 1 September, 2014: Sir Michael Arthur succeeds Sir Roger Bone as president of Boeing UK and Ireland.
  • 10 October, 2014: Boeing, Virgin Atlantic Airways celebrate delivery of airline’s first 787-9 Dreamliner.
  • 23 December, 2014: Boeing and Cambridge University mark first flight of hybrid electric aeroplane.
  • 3 September, 2015: Jet2.com orders 737-800s in airline’s first direct buy from Boeing.
  • 26 February, 2016: Boeing appointed strategic IT partner by Staffordshire Police and Crime Commissioner.
  • 17 March, 2016: Sir Michael Arthur appointed president, Boeing Europe and managing director, Boeing UK and Ireland.
  • 11 July, 2016: Boeing, UK Government announce long-term initiative for prosperity and growth including P-8A deal.
  • 15 July, 2016: Boeing, Air League, Royal Air Force launch new Air Cadet learning programme.
  • 16 July, 2016: Boeing celebrates company centennial at successful Farnborough International Airshow.
  • 26 October, 2016: Royal Academy of Engineering announces major new education partnership with Boeing.
  • 15 November, 2016: Boeing Defense Space and Security launches its Global Operations division, headed by David Pitchforth.
  • 17 November, 2016: Boeing and Gatwick Airport propose to build new maintenance hangar.
  • 24 February, 2017: Boeing announces plans for first factory in Europe in Sheffield, South Yorkshire.
  • 12 April, 2018: Boeing HorizonX invests in Reaction Engines, a UK hypersonic propulsion company.
  • 13 July, 2018: Boeing, Air League and Royal Air Force Air Cadets celebrate completion of Northern Ireland Centennial Wings STEM aircraft build and announce new project in Scotland.
  • 19 July, 2018: Over $100 billion orders and commitments announced at Farnborough Airshow.
  • 20 July, 2018: Boeing, Royal Aeronautical Society and Aerobility launch new STEM build challenge ‘Falcon 2’, to increase accessibility to flying for disabled people.
  • 19 Sept, 2018: Boeing announces UK suppliers to new Sheffield factory.
  • 17 Oct, 2018: Boeing launches Office of UK Industrial Capability (OUKIC), promoting British companies to significant global opportunities.
  • 25 October, 2018: Boeing Sheffield factory opens and begins producing components for 737 and 767.
  • 26 November, 2018: Official opening of our expanded flight training centre in Crawley, West Sussex.
 

 

See a complete global history of The Boeing Company.