Fabulous new color images of Bill Allen – Boeing’s greatest President

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December 31, 2021
Bill Allen

AirlineRatings.com has had colorized new images of Bill Allen who was without doubt Boeing’s greatest President.

The colorized images were done by Frenchman Benoit Vienne and capture some of the many great moments in Mr. Allen’s long tenure piloting Boeing from a builder of military bombers to dominating commercial aviation.

William McPherson Allen was born on September 1, 1900, at Lolo, Montana, and he graduated from Harvard Law School in 1925. He joined the Board of Boeing Air Transport in 1930 while remaining an employee of his Seattle law firm, Donworth, Todd & Higgins.

In 1944 he was appointed President of Boeing as then Chairman Claire Egtvedt did not think any of the company’s senior engineers had enough background to run the company.

Allen, likewise thought himself unqualified to run an aerospace company and initially declined before being talked into taking on the role.

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He would become Boeing’s longest-serving President with tenure from September 1, 1945, until April 29, 1968. He then served as the chairman from 1968 through 1972.

While at the helm he launched the B-47, B-52, 707, 720, 727, 737, and 747 and stamped Boeing as the world’s largest builder of commercial aircraft.

Here are a collection of the colorized photos of highlights in his career. The photos are from Boeing’s Historical Archives and all colorized by Benoit Vienne.

Bill Allen
Bill Allen wanted to see what it was like to take a jet flight. So he hitched a ride in one of the company’s B-47 bombers. He was sold on jet travel!
Bill Allen with a model of Boeing’s first airplane and the new Boeing 707 tanker/transport
Bill Allen
The christening of the Boeing 707 prototype with Mrs. Boeing.
Bill Allen
Bill Allen, left with C.R. Smith President of American Airlines (next from left) with Wellwood Beall, SVP Engineering for Boeing seated in the 707 mockup. The person at extreme right is unknown.
Bill Allen
Centre three gentlemen are L:R: C.R. Smith American Airlines CEO, Bill Patterson United Airlines CEO, and Bill Allen.
United’s Bill Patterson signs for 30 Boeing 720s as Bill Allen looks on.
United Airlines President Bill Patterson and his wife Vera with Boeing’s Bill Allen for the delivery of the first Boeing 720 to United.
Eastern Airlines President Malcolm MacIntyre, Boeing’s Bill Allen, and United’s SVP of Engineering and Maintenance John Herlihy hold models of 727 jets at the announcement of orders for 40 each of the new trijet. Date Dec 6, 1960.
Bill Allen
Bill Allen centre after the first flight of the 747.
Bill Allen
Four gentlemen on the stairs to the 747. L:R Juan Trippe founder of Pan Am, Bill Allen, Then President of Pan Am Najeeb E. Halaby Jr and Pan Am board member Charles Lindberg
Bill Allen
Bill Allen, right, with Boeing executives in front of the supersonic transport mockup.