Aerospace Legacy Foundation

Your portal to America's aerospace history


Aerospace Legacy Foundation (ALF) is a community based non-profit organization (501c3) including aerospace retirees and the public at large. Large collection of artifacts, photos and assets from the former Downey NASA Industrial Site (Boeing/ Downey Studios). Speakers Bureau, Sponsor of Pioneers in Aviation, the Race to the Moon. Downey, California is the home of Apollo and the Space Shuttle programs.

 Preserving the Past, Focusing on the Future






Boeing B-29 assembly line in Wichita in 1944

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, did lots of wartime tours. Oct 1942 Boeing. Boeing Image

Boeing, power, and aircraft production

"Aircraft production relied upon a large labor pool, lots of land, and even more aluminum. To make all the aluminum that is put onto an aircraft required lots of electricity - and that is where the Pacific Northwest excelled at the beginning of the war. 

To get out of the depression the US Government spent massively - in the same manner that Germany borrowed and spent themselves out of depression (modern term: Reaganomics) and in the US massive public works in the form of power generation dams were one of the many ways used to get the economy going again.

Bonneville Dam, built roughly 40 miles upstream from Portland along the Columbia River, was the first dam built by the Corps of Engineers on the Columbia. To delivery and sell the power generated Bonneville Power Administration was created. This low cost (i.e.: cost recovery only) selling of electricity in turn allowed aluminum smelters to move to the NW to build factories - they use enormous amount of electricity to create the aluminum - that allowed them to make the new product and sell it at a price other companies could afford to pay for it. This allowed more people to be employed, generate more money in the economy, and with people employed money they earned and spent by the borrowing of money to build a dam in the long term would lift the US out of the depression.

The Federal Government policy of selling of electricity at cost (instead of the normal 30% profit margin), the need for lots of aluminum, the need for lots of planes, allowed Boeing to expand and build new plants in Washington to meet the needs of WW II. See this paper on Bonneville Dam's contribution to the war effort (PDF)."


B-17G tail sections with Boeing women worker, 1940's Seattle. Boeing Image



Boeing aircraft factory girl Linda Gray working circa 1942. 

J. R. Eyerman—The LIFE Images Collection

A cutaway illustration of the Gemini spacecraft. NASA Images.







"They will someday regard airplane travel to be as commonplace and incidental as train travel..."
William Boeing (More Quotes)


ALF's former President James M. Busby and author Bill Yenne at North American Aviation Bald Eagles Luncheon 2016.

ALF's former President James M. Busby and author Bill Yenne at North American Aviation Bald Eagles Luncheon 2016.

Welcome to the Aerospace Legacy Foundation- Your Portal to America's Aerospace History

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Aerospace Legacy Foundation - A California 501c3 Organization


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