A Rivalry in the Making

Between Boeing and Airbus

1950s
Boeing 707, introduced in 1958, launches the jet age. It's expensive, but its speed (doubling that of piston-engine airliners) makes it productive.

1960s
Boeing introduces the 737 in 1967. It becomes the best-selling and longest-running airliner in production. The jet has since undergone two extensive makeovers to keep it competitive.

1970s
Boeing's iconic 747, introduced in 1970, doubles the size of most airliners. Upstart Airbus delivers its first commercial jet, the A300--the first twin-aisle, twin-jet airliner. Boeing sees no threat.

1980s
In 1982, Boeing's 767 becomes the first long-range airliner to be allowed transoceanic flights with just two engines. TheAirbus A320, in 1987, is the first highly automated, fly-by-wire aircraft.

1990s
In 1993, Airbus introduces the A330 and A340--similar, larger versions of the A320. In 1995, Boeing delivers the 777, a versatile, fly-by-wire jet.

2000s
Airbus confirms launch of the two-deck A380. Boeing, having said there's no market for the A380, unveils its Sonic Cruiser proposal. Low interest from airlines kills it in 2002.