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Consolidated Aircraft Corp

 

Gallaudet Airplane Corp was dissolved 1923 and factory acquired by Consolidated Aircraft Corporation With Reuben H.Fleet.
Original factory was quickly outgrown by the company formed May 29,1923 and moved to Buffalo, NY, in 1924, leasing part of a wartime Curtiss factory. In the 1920s and 1930s produced small numbers of civil types, but main output was military and between 1924-1932 included more than 770 PT-1 /311 and NY primary training biplanes for the USAAC and Navy, plus a small batch of similar 0- 17s for observation duties.
The creation of the civil Model 14 "Husky"trainer led to the creation of the Fleet Aircraft Division in 1929.
Thomas Morse Aircraft acquired 1929. In the 1930s Consolidated specialized in marine aircraft, P2Y twin-engined patrol flying-boats being built 1931-1933; followed by P-30 single-seat fighter monoplanes for the Army in 1933-1935.
In autumn 1935 company moved to San Diego, California, gaining a harbor for testing its maritime designs, which continued with the P3Y/PBY Catalina family. During a ten-year production life 2,400 Catalinas were built by Consolidated and hundreds more by other companies. Production of PB2Y Coronados began in 1939. In 1940 Hall Aluminium Co acquired. Company began a five-year program of building more than 11,000 B-24/C- 87/PB4Y/RY Liberator and Privateer bomber, transport, and patrol aircraft for the U.S. Services and the RAF. Liberator production was also undertaken by Ford, Douglas, and North American. Final wartime product was the TBY Sea Wolf. A 34 percent controlling interest in Consolidated acquired December 1941 by Vultee Aircraft Inc., and management links from then led to merger of the two companies on March 17,1943 as Consolidated Vultee Aircraft Corporation.
Amalgamation from March 17,1943 of Consolidated Aircraft Corporation and Vultee Aircraft Inc., whose wartime production programs are listed under these separate headings. By the end of Second World War Consolidated Vultee was largest aircraft manufacturing organization in the U.S.A., with factories at San Diego and Vultee Field, California; Fort Worth, Texas; Nashville, Tennessee; Wayne, Michigan; New Orleans, Louisiana; Miami, Florida; and Allentown, Pennsylvania; plus modification centers at Tucson, Arizona; Elizabeth City, North Carolina; and Louisville, Kentucky.
Late-war/early post-war programs included B-32 Dominator long-range bomber, L-13 liaison/observation aircraft and multi-engined B-36 intercontinental bomber. The company entered the commercial field with first flight, in summer 1946, of twin-engined Model 110, from which later stemmed well-known 240/340/440 Metropolitan series of medium-sized shorthaul airliners. Various noteworthy military prototypes included the XB-46 jet bomber, XP-81 single-seat mixed-power escort fighter, XF-92 rocket-powered interceptor, XA-41 close-support aircraft, and XF2Y Sea Dart hydro-ski fighter. A small number of R3Y Tradewind four-engined transport flying-boats Were built for the U.S. Navy. In the early 1950s Consolidated Vultee began calling its products "Convair" types, and on April 30,1954 it became the Convair Division of General Dynamics Corporation, which was then the major shareholder.

 


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