John White

Donald W. Douglas Aviation Pioneer

Apr 25, 2020

Donald Willis Douglas Sr. Aviation Pioneer

Donald Wills Douglas Sr. (April 6, 1892 – February 1, 1981)

Douglas, from the age of 16, was an early enthusiast about the burgeoning aviation field with new aircraft seemingly coming at break neck speed.

He built all kinds of model airplanes, some with rubber bands to power them, others with motors.

Douglas started his career at the Naval Academy but before he could graduate resigned and pursued an education in aeronautical engineering.

He just need to build airplanes!

Early aviation icons like Grover Loening and Glenn Curtis turned down his application for a job, so he enrolled in MIT pursuing his dream of becoming an aeronautical engineer.

And the world benefited from that passion!

Early Career

Upon graduation Douglas joined the Connecticut Aircraft Company and at the age of 23 became the chief engineer for the Glenn Martin Company. 

Within a year Douglas left Glenn Martin Company, worked for the US Army Signal Corps, soon returning to the new Glenn L. Martin Company as the chief engineer.

Not satisfied there Douglas and investor David Davis formed his first aircraft company called Davis-Douglas Company.

Their first attempt was the Douglas Cloudster which they hoped could fly coast to coast nonstop.

Douglas Cloudster Donald W. Douglas' First Attempt at aircraft manufacturing

That attempt failed and the partnership was disolved, but the Douglas Cloudster was the first airplane with a payload greater than its own weight..

The Douglas Aircraft Company


Donald Douglas was a highly respected aeronautical engineer and a determined entreprenuer. 

18 months before Pearl Harbor Douglas wrote an article saying this was "the hour of destiny for American aviation". He predicted aviation companies would be producing aircraft on production lines and become large business.

A prophet perhaps?

The Douglas DC-3

In February of 1933 Boeing introduced the Boeing 247 airliner eventually building 75 of them.

Not to be outdone Douglas designed and built the DC-1, DC-2 and eventually settled on the Douglas DC-3 which revolutionized the airline business.

Over 16,000 variations of the Douglas DC-3 have been built, and many are still flying today.

In fact, I have a DC-3 type rating and over 600 hours in the aircraft.

It is my favorite airplane to fly.

The Douglas Sunglasses Are Born

 Randolph Engineering, a US manufacurer of sunglasses, has introduced the "Douglas" sunglasses.

Randolph Engineering Douglas Sunglasses Lifestyle Image

These vintage round sunglasses are built for life.

Timeless handcrafted frames and polarized SkyForce™ lenses deliver premium optical clarity with minimal weight.

The bayonet temples are comfortable to wear, and the frame comes with a lifetime frame solder joint warranty.

Check them out today at: Douglas

Your Pilot

JetAviator7 and the Randolph Douglas Sunglasses

 Randolph Douglas Sunglasses at



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