Wong Tsu

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Wong Tsu (1893–1965) was born in Beijing, China. At the age of 12, he was selected as a naval cadet, and at 16 he was sent to England to study naval engineering, then to the U.S. to study aeronautical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Graduating in 1916, he learned to fly at the Curtiss Flying Boat School in Buffalo, New York. He was then hired by the fledgling Boeing aircraft company and designed its first product, the Boeing Model C, more than 50 of which were acquired by the U.S. Navy.[1] In 1917, after two years at Boeing, he returned to China where he became chief secretary of the airline China National Aviation Corporation. His picture appears in the account of Central Aircraft Manufacturing Company, a joint venture between China and the Curtiss-Wright Corporation.

When the Kuomintang government was defeated in the civil war, Wong went to Taiwan where he became professor of aviation at Cheng Kung University.

During his lifetime, Wong is believed to have had a hand in designing 30 aircraft. In 2004, at a time when it was hoping to increase its ties to the Chinese aviation industry, Boeing unveiled a plaque and exhibit at its Museum of Flight in Seattle, Washington, honoring his work as its first engineer.

In the U.S. his name is sometimes inverted to Tsu Wong, to put the family name last, as is the western custom.