Selling commercial aircraft, which in todays dollars range in price from $40 million to over $150 million, requires time and people to accomplish and complete a sale. However, at the end, the Salesman gets blamed for the loss and everyone else takes credit for a win, or so it seemed. Over the years in Direct Marketing, there have been many people involved in assisting me in the marketing of Douglas Commercial aircraft from, Engineering, Sales Engineering, Contracts, Finance and a variety of Planning groups. To list names would only mean that I would forget some of the important people; that would be an error. It is better to name none than admit your memory is beginning to deteriorate. Leaving Douglas when I did, at fifty-five, was hardest because of the many friends that were a part of the Marketing team. Some I have not seen since leaving Douglas. At this time, I would like to acknowledge the two men who started the two companies that made up the McDonnell Douglas name, Donald W. Douglas and James S. McDonnell. Both were visionaries in the field of Aviation, one Commercial aircraft and the other military aircraft.

James S. McDonnell and Don W. Douglas

The Douglas Company was at its peak in the Commercial Jet Age. The DC-9 was well on its way to being a spectacular seller, and the stretched DC-8 was incomparable in economics and was well on its way to match the success of the DC-9. If deliveries could be reached that were planned, the success of the company was well in hand. History tells the rest. McDonnell progressed to a spectacular level with its aircraft that were built for the Navy. When James McDonnell saw his friend, Donald Douglas, in trouble, he knew this was an opportunity to get into the Commercial business, which he had tried unsuccessfully in the past. This way, he could enlarge his market and assist a friend at the same time. Even though Douglas thought he could have done it on his own, with some help from the banks, the stakes were to get very large, very soon, and only someone with the clout of McDonnell could assist. Lastly, to the Boeing Company, the dragon we attempted to slay, becomes the last man standing. The competition was fantastic and to win one was a battle well fought. I always said that the difference between McDonnell Douglas Commercial Marketing and Boeings Marketing Department was that before they launched the 707 program, Boeing had decided to be Number One in Commercial aircraft at all cost. A few twists of fate and a better understanding of the Commercial marketplace by the McDonnell people, and it would have been a closer race. Boeing is a fine company and has some great airplanes. Support of our last standing commercial aircraft company should be full and complete.