The Forges et Ateliers de Construction Latecoere began its interest in aviation in 1917 with an aircraft works at Toulouse-Montaudron. In 1917 P-G Latécoère turned from making munitions to licence-building aircraft for the Aviation Militaire Française. Total wartime production amounted to 800 licenced Breguet XIV and Salmson 2A.2 2-seat reconaissance bomber biplanes.
The experimental Latecoere 1 two-seat fighter of 1918 was unsuccessful and the company concentrated for a period on licence manufacture of the Salmson 2 reconnaissance biplane, over 800 of which were built. Latecoere showed an aircraft at the 1919 Paris Salon, and another two, the LAT 4 airliner and LAT 6 bomber, in 1921. The Societe Industries d'Aviation was formed in 1922. From 1925 Latecoere developed an airline to South America and built a series of commercial aircraft for this route. Part of the Toulouse factory went to SNCAM in 1936. Developed a series of bomber aircraft (L.28, L.29) and torpedo-carrying floatplanes, the L.290 and L.298, the latter in service in 1939-1940. Some LeO flying-boats also built. In the 1930s developed a number of two- and four-engined commercial flying-boats, culminating in the six-engined L.521 Lieutenant de Vaisseau Paris of 1938 and L.631 of 1939.
The Compagnie Latécoère had numerous aviation related divisions located around Toulouse including: the Lignes Aeriennes Latécoère and CGEA (Cie Generale d’Entreprises Aeronautiques). The Lignes Aeriennes Latécoère may explain why earlier designations are often shown as LAT-xx rather than Laté-xx (as well as the SILAT acronym).
- 1918: Société des lignes Latécoère or Lignes Aeriennes Latécoère (LAT)
- 1918: Compagnie Espagne Maroc Algerie (CEMA) P-G Latécoère & Beppo de Massimi
- 1919: CEMA renamed Lignes Aériennes Latécoère (LAT)
- 1927: Marcel Latécoère sells CGEA majority shares to Marcel Bouilloux-Lafont
- 1927: Marcel Bouilloux-Lafont founds Compagnie Générale Aéropostale (CGA)
- March 1931: Compagnie Générale Aéropostale declared bankrupt
- 1932: Aéropostale dissolved by French government and merged with SCELA
- Aug 1933: Aéropostale officially merged with SCELA to become Air France
The Latécoère corporate identity went through three major changes between 1917 and the beginning of WWII.
- 1917: Forges et Ateliers de Construction Latécoère building aircraft
- 1922: name changed to Société Industrielle d’Aviation Latécoère (SIDAL)
- End 1936: Latécoère nationalized (to be combined with Dewoitine as SCNAM)
- 1937: Société Nationale de Constructions Aéronautiques du Midi (SCNAM)
Pierre-Georges Latécoère died on 23 Aug 1943.