most admired 1983 mcdonnell douglas
Company: McDonnell Douglas
Rank in 1983: 6, Aerospace

McDonnell Douglas was once one of the great American plane makers. Before they merged in 1967, both McDonnell and Douglas had separately built fighter planes used in WWII. After the merger, they jointly rolled out commercial planes, including the technically troubled DC-10.

But in 1995, Lockheed merged with Martin Marietta, creating a formidable defense contractor. Two years later, Boeing bought McDonnell Douglas, which opened up the rivalry that continues today -- Boeing and Airbus are the only companies left standing with the ability to compete for comparable contracts.

  @FortuneMagazine - Last updated February 28 2013 03:03 PM ET
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