Some of the top and most prolific aerospace companies are Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman.

The aerospace industry is the sector of science and engineering that deals with the manufacturing and development of flight vehicles within the Earth’s atmosphere and out into the surrounding space. The types of flight vehicles that the aerospace industry works with range from commercial aircraft like airplanes to military aviation, from jets to missiles and spacecraft.

Some of the top and most prolific aerospace companies are Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and Northrop Grumman. Each dates back to the early 1900s, and each has built a long list of accomplishments and innovations. Their prestige also attracted some of the most notable executives such as David L. Calhoun (CEO of Boeing), Marillyn Hewson (CEO of Lockheed Martin), and Kathy Warden (CEO of Northrop Grumman). For the aerospace industries, talented executives are often found through Boyle Orgrata Bregman (BOB) Searches, an executive search firm dedicated to placing talent into aerospace, defense, and industrial companies. The top aerospace companies cement their place through a combination of history and the ability to innovate through engineering and science.

Boeing – From Airliners to Satellites

Boeing is the world’s largest aerospace company that designs, manufactures, and sells airplanes, rockets, satellites, and missiles. Although headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, Boeing is a global company that is located all over the world, having a presence in more than 65 countries. Boeing has a history of success and innovation in aeronautics but focuses more on commercial aircraft.

They hold over 13,000 patents. They built the first commercially successful jetliner in 1955, the first widebody jetliner in 1969, and the Minuteman, the United States’ only fully successful ICBM, a version of which is still in use today. It is also the first in the aerospace industry to reach $100 billion in annual sales. In December 2018, Boeing launched the BBJ 777X, a business jet that can fly more than halfway around the world without stopping.

Lockheed Martin – Fighter Jets & Space Capsules

Another top aerospace company is Lockheed Martin, which is of the same prestige as Boeing but with a greater emphasis on defense. They focus on manufacturing fighter jets, cargo jets, hypersonic missiles, and space capsules for NASA.

Lockheed Martin is headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland and has offices all over the US and the world. Since its inception as the Lockheed Corporation in 1926, the company has built a legacy of accomplishments in both air and space. They created the Blackbird, a supersonic reconnaissance jet, in the 1960s and the Manned Maneuvering Unit (MMU), an astronaut propulsion unit used by NASA in 1984. In 2018, Lockheed Martin created the Space-Based Infrared System (SBIRS). This satellite system provides early missile warning through infrared sensors in GEO, HEO, and low orbits.

Northrop Grumman – the Apollo Lunar Module

Another example of a top aerospace company would be Northrop Grumman. It was formed in 1994 through the merging of the Northrop Corporation and the Grumman Corporation. The company is headquartered in Falls Church, Virginia, and has 69 offices across 11 countries.

Northrop is particularly famous for creating many aircraft, bombers, and jets used by the armed forces. It has a history of creating innovative aircraft and equipment in the field of aerospace and defense. The Apollo Lunar Module used on the Apollo mission was designed, built, and tested by the Grumman Corporation. In 2011, they made the X-47B, the first unmanned, autonomous air system operated from an aircraft carrier. In 1997, they made the B-2 Spirit, the world’s only known stealth bomber in 1997. They are currently working on the James Webb Space Telescope, the successor to the Hubble Space Telescope. The project is slated to be launched in October 2021.

The aerospace industry is a field that has a lot of implications in the future. Interest in dominating air and space, as well as improving national defense, has been on the rise. However, it is highly competitive, and the success of an aerospace company depends very much on its history of innovations and talented individuals. Companies such as Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and Northrop Grumman became as big as they did through attracting the best talent and by being the most innovative. They engaged in multiple acquisitions, mergers, and consolidations as well. The top aerospace companies grow on top of themselves as they build off their achievements and knowledge to bring about innovation in air and space.

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