Alphabetical seating put Aurora Flight Sciences founder and CEO John Langford next to Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg at a meeting of U.S. aerospace industry leaders in May 2016. They had met before, on the U.S. Army Future Combat Systems program, so Langford seized the moment to ask Muilenburg if Boeing would be interested in collaborating with Aurora on its D8 advanced airliner concept. That exchange led to the Oct. 5 announcement that Boeing has agreed to acquire privately held Aurora, a ...

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