In the early 1930s, Boeing consisted of both an airplane manufacturing division
and an airline division, the latter eventually becoming United Air Lines.
Boeing's manufacturing division produced the Model 247,
a new plane with exceptional capabilities, but which was initially available
exclusively to United; this did not sit well with TWA.
The Model 247, one of the first modern passenger transports, had been built for
United Air Lines, part of Boeing's multifaceted United Aircraft and
With its powerful engines and its single cantilevered wing, the 247 gave United
the ability to offer 10 round trips daily between New York and Chicago.
Although regularly scheduled passenger service began in 1933 with the 247, its
success was also its downfall.
Competitors of United Air Line could not order the new 247 until after the
first 60 airplanes had been delivered to United. However, Jack Frye, vice
president operations of Transcontinental and Western Airways (now Trans World
Airlines), also wanted some 247s. Boeing Aircraft president Claire Egtvedt
asked United Aircraft and Transportation's board of directors to allow TWA to
order 247s after the first 20 had been delivered. The board refused.
Therefore, TWA sent out a request for bids to build a three-engine transport.
The Douglas Aircraft Company in Santa Monica, Calif., won with the twin-engine
which was larger and faster than the Model 247.
The 247 and the Douglas transports marked the beginning of contemporary
commercial aviation and paved the way for development of large, multiengine