Learning Center Our Enshrinees

Donald Willis Douglas


Born: April 6, 1892 in Brooklyn, New York
Death: February 1, 1981
Enshrined: 1969

Became Chief Engineer of the Glenn L. Martin Company in 1915, then appointed Chief Civilian Aeronautical Engineer of the Aviation section in 1916. He rejoined Martin in 1917 and designed the famous Martin Bomber during World War I.

Created the Cloudster which was the first airplane to lift a payload equal to its own weight.

Built the Douglas World Cruisers that made the first flight around the world in 1924.

Received the Collier Trophy in 1935 for his DC-2 airliner.

Introduced the DC-3 in 1935 which became the world’s most widely used airliner and helped make commercial aviation practical.

After World War II, his company developed new types of military aircraft and missiles, as well as important new multi-engine commercial transports that helped make possible the expansion of domestic and international passenger and cargo air service.

Praised by Theodore von Kármán as the “dour Scot who will go down in history as having made aviation great without a government subsidy.”

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