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McDonnell



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McDonnell
Credit: NASA
McDonnell, James S (1899-1980) American engineer, president of McDonnell Aircraft 1939-1972. His innovative fighter designs were initially unsuccessful, but the F-4 and F-15 were the premier US fighters after 1960. Contractor for the Mercury, Gemini , and MOL spacecraft.

James S. McDonnell, Jr. graduated from MIT with an M.S. in aeronautical engineering in 1925 and worked as an engineer and pilot with a variety of aircraft companies before he founded McDonnell Aircraft Corp. in St. Louis in 1939. He served as its president until 1962. The FH-1 Phantom, which first flew in 1946, was the first in a line of fighter aircraft his company produced, including the F-4 Phantom 2, the F-15 Eagle, and the F- 18 Hornet. In 1959 the company became the contractor for the Mercury spacecraft; almost three years later it also became contractor for the Gemini spacecraft. In 1967, McDonnell Aircraft merged with Douglas Aircraft Co. to form McDonnell Douglass Corp., with James McDonnell serving as chairman and chief executive officer until 1972 and chairman thereafter.

Born: 1899.04.01.
Died: 1980.08.01.

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Bibliography
  • Launius, Roger D, NASA Chief Historian, NASA History Office Home Page, Web Address when accessed: here.

McDonnell Chronology


1980 August 1 - .
  • Death of James S McDonnell at Saint Louis, MO. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: McDonnell. Summary: American engineer, president of McDonnell Aircraft 1939-1972. His innovative fighter designs were initially unsuccessful, but the F-4 and F-15 were the premier US fighters after 1960. Contractor for the Mercury, Gemini , and MOL spacecraft..

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