Aerospace Industry

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  • Aerospace, a term coined by U.S. Air Force leaders in the late 1950s, involves aircraft, guided missiles, space launch vehicles, and spacecraft. At the beginning of the twenty-first century, the U.S. aerospace industry yielded annual revenues of roughly $210 billion, and it employed more than one million Americans. Defense-related accounts constituted 55 percent of total aerospace demand, with commercial accounts making up the balance. Although California led the nation with nearly 15 percent of the country's aerospace workforce, other states in the American West, particularly Washington, Texas, Colorado, Utah, Arizona, Oklahoma, and Kansas, ranked high on the list.

    The aerospace industry in the American West began with aircraft manufacturing in the decade preceding World War I. Entrepreneurs such as Glenn Martin, Allan and Malcolm Loughead (Lockheed), ...

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