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Tuesday, Feb 7, 2023

Viewing the Past at 40,000 Feet

Boeing Co. has a long history in the greater San Fernando Valley. It’s where the company flight tested the 747, assembled pieces of the space shuttle and developed a short takeoff-and-landing jet fighter for the U.S. military. The Chicago aerospace company has long had a website to license 15,000 historical photos of its endeavors for commercial purposes, such as advertising or TV shows. Now, it has launched BoeingImages. com, which features 2,500 selected photos that date back to the company’s founding in 1916 and are available for purchase by the general public. Rick Svoboda, president of subsidiary Boeing Intellectual Property Licensing Co. in Seattle, said the photos, which can be framed, range from standard 8-inch by 10-inch prints to larger formats, with prices starting at $16 and going up to about $100. Boeing’s current presence in the greater Valley includes its historic flight test center in Palmdale. The company previously owned the Rocketdyne rocket engine factory in Canoga Park and the Santa Susana Field Laboratory, where the engines for the Apollo moon missions were built and tested. Svoboda said the most popular images are vintage World War II fighters, experimental craft and early jets. The collection has a photo of a crew boarding an F-101 Voodoo fighter at Edwards Air Force Base in the Antelope Valley. The F-101 was tested at Edwards and later set a world speed record there. All that history creates a market for the collection. “Any time you have an aerospace community, active or retired, they are a good fit for the site,” Svoboda said. Boeing launched the selling feature now in anticipation of strong sales during the holiday season. “I’ve been on the site looking for a photo for my son, who is a pilot because it makes a nice Christmas gift,” he said. – Joel Russell

Joel Russel
Joel Russel
Joel Russell joined the Los Angeles Business Journal in 2006 as a reporter. He transferred to sister publication San Fernando Valley Business Journal in 2012 as managing editor. Since he assumed the position of editor in 2015, the Business Journal has been recognized four times as the best small-circulation tabloid business publication in the country by the Alliance of Area Business Publishers. Previously, he worked as senior editor at Hispanic Business magazine and editor of Business Mexico.

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