Wong Tsu

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Wong Tsu
Jianqiao-camco Wangzhu.jpg
Wong Tsu in his office at CAMCO, Hangzhou
Born(1893-08-10)10 August 1893
Died4 March 1965(1965-03-04) (aged 71)
NationalityRepublic of China
EducationMassachusetts Institute of Technology
Engineering career
Employer(s)Boeing
AwardsAcknowledged as first Boeing engineer at the Museum of Flight

Wong Tsu (Chinese: 王助; pinyin: Wáng Zhù; 10 August 1893 – 4 March 1965) was a Chinese aeronautical engineer. He has been recognized as the first engineer at Boeing, and has been nicknamed by many of his successors at Boeing as the "Father of Boeing".

Life and education[edit]

Wong was born in Beijing, Qing China. At the age of 12, he was selected as a naval cadet; at 16, he was sent to England to study naval engineering, then to the United States to study aeronautical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

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

Work[edit]

Wong graduated from MIT in 1916. He then learned to fly at the Curtiss Flying Boat School in Buffalo, New York. In May 1916, the fledgling Boeing Airplane Company hired Wong as their first engineer.[1][2] He designed the company's first successful product, the Boeing Model C,[3][4] more than 50 of which the U.S. Navy purchased.[3] In light of the financial windfall brought from the Navy purchases, "from Bill Boeing onward, the company's chief executives through the decades were careful to note that without Wong Tsu's efforts, especially with the Model C, the company might not have survived the early years to become the dominant world aircraft manufacturer."[4]

Wong brought considerable expertise in wind tunnel testing to Boeing, and advised on the design of the Boeing Aerodynamical Chamber at the University of Washington. In 1917, after around a year at Boeing, he returned to China where he became chief secretary of the airline China National Aviation Corporation. From 1934 to 1937, he served as the chief engineer of he Central Aircraft Manufacturing Company, (CAMCO) a joint venture between China and Curtiss-Wright Corporation, Douglas Aviation, and Intercontinent Aviation.[5]

When the Kuomintang government was defeated in the Chinese Civil War, Wong went to Taiwan where he became professor of aviation at National Cheng Kung University. He died on March 4, 1965 in Tainan at the age of 71.

During his lifetime, Wong designed more than two dozen aircraft.[6] In 2004, Boeing unveiled a plaque and exhibit at the Museum of Flight in Seattle, Washington, honoring Wong's work as its first engineer.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The 1st...and the Best" (PDF). Boeing.
  2. ^ Areddy, James (24 September 2015). "The Chinese Birdman Who Got U.S. Aircraft Giant Boeing Flying". WSJ Blogs - China Real Time Report. Retrieved 2016-01-22.
  3. ^ a b Bauer, Eugene (2000). Boeing: the first century. TABA Publishing. p. 18. ISBN 1879242095.
  4. ^ a b Fallows, James (2013). China Airborne: The Test of China's Future. Knopf Doubleday. p. 50. ISBN 9781400031276.
  5. ^ Arnold, Doris ("Missy") (2008). Missy's China, Letters from Hangchow 1934 -1937. Hong Kong: Old China Hand Press. pp. passim. OCLC 488467698.
  6. ^ 'Past Experience: Boeing’s Long History with China'. Seattle Business Magazine.
  7. ^ Vu, Carol. "An aviation pioneer, no longer forgotten". www.nwasianweekly.com. Retrieved 2016-01-22.

External links[edit]