Boeing test fires its first Bomarc anti-aircraft missile on February 24, 1955.

  • By Walt Crowley
  • Posted 9/14/2001
  • Essay 3566
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On February 24, 1955, Boeing launches its first rocket, the Bomarc long-range anti-aircraft missile. Under secret development since 1949, the supersonic weapon marks Boeing's entry into the design and production of rocket-powered vehicles and computer guidance systems, blazing a trail to later projects such as the Minuteman intercontinental ballistic missile and the Saturn V booster that sent the first humans to the moon.

The stubby-winged Bomarc combined solid-fuel rocket boosters with a supersonic ramjet to deliver a nuclear warhead to intercept hostile aircraft at a range of 400 miles and an altitude of 80,000 feet. Boeing built 700 Bomarcs between 1957 and 1964, and the last installations were not retired until the 1970s.


Boeing historical chronology, (

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