Dick Taylor oral history interview



Dick Taylor oral history interview


Born-digital video recording of an oral history with Richard W. "Dick" Taylor and interviewer Dan Hagedorn, recorded as part of The Museum of Flight Oral History Program, February 13, 2014.


Aeronautical engineer Richard W. “Dick” Taylor is interviewed about his 50-year career at the Boeing Company, which spanned the 1940s to the early 1990s. He discusses his experiences as a test pilot and design engineer for the company and describes notable projects from his career, including his work on the B-47 Stratojet, Boeing Model 377 Stratocruiser, and Model 737 and his development of ETOPS (Extended Range Twin Engine Operations). He also touches on his service as a U.S Army liaison pilot during World War II and his engineering studies at Purdue University during the 1940s.

Table Of Contents

Introduction and personal background -- Early aviation experiences, favorite aircraft, and flight training -- Military service -- Engineering studies at Purdue University -- Beginning of Boeing career -- Thoughts on the Boeing 377 Stratocruiser and B-47 Stratojet -- Courtship and marriage -- Toss bombing trials 18 -- Work on the Boeing 737 -- Major career contributions -- Advice for future generations




1 recording (1 hr., 8 min., 12 sec.) : digital



Bibliographic Citation

The Museum of Flight Oral History Collection/The Museum of Flight




Biographical Text

Richard W. “Dick” Taylor was a test pilot, aeronautical engineer, and aviation executive who had a 50-year career with the Boeing Company. He was born on November 1, 1921 in Cincinnati, Ohio to Odus Raymond Taylor and Sarah Kathryn White Taylor. After the death of his father in 1930, his family relocated to Sheridan, Indiana, where he attended primary, junior high, and high school.

Taylor attended Purdue University and graduated in 1942 with a degree in mechanical engineering. He participated in the school’s ROTC (Reserve Officers' Training Corps) program and was commissioned as a Field Artillery officer upon graduation. After completing Artillery flight training in Pittsburg, Kansas, he served in Europe as a liaison pilot with the 417th Field Artillery Group, United States Army.

In 1946, Taylor was hired by the Boeing Company to design performance instrumentation for the B-47 Stratojet and serve as a flight test engineer for the aircraft. Over the course of his career, he contributed to the design and testing of several Boeing aircraft, including serving as Director of Engineering on the Model 737. He also worked with the FAA to develop new airline regulations, such as the Two-Person Flight Crew certification and ETOPS (Extended Range Twin Engine Operations). He retired from Boeing in 1991 as a Vice President and continued to act as a company consultant until 1996. He passed away in 2015.

Taylor was involved in numerous aviation organizations throughout his life, including the EEA (Experimental Aircraft Association), the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and the Society of Experimental Test Pilots. He also served as a trustee of The Museum of Flight (Seattle, Washington).

Biographical information derived from interview, from additional information provided by interviewee, and from online sources.