Vultee Aircraft

The Vultee Aircraft Corporation became an independent company in 1939 and had limited success before merging with the Consolidated Aircraft Corporation in 1943 to form the Consolidated Vultee Aircraft Corporation, or Convair.

Gerard "Jerry" Vultee and Vince Breese started Airplane Development Corporation in early 1932 after American Airlines showed great interest in their six-passenger V-1 design. Soon after, Errett Lobban (E.L.) Cord bought all 500 shares of stock in the company and Airplane Development Corporation became a Cord subsidiary.

Due to the Air Mail Act of 1934, AVCO established the Aviation Manufacturing Corporation (AMC) on November 30, 1934 through the acquisition of Cord's holdings, including Vultee's Airplane Development Corporation. AMC was liquidated on January 1, 1936 and Vultee Aircraft Division was formed as an autonomous subsidiary of AVCO. Vultee acquired the assets of the defunct AMC, including Lycoming and Stinson Aircraft Company. Vultee Aircraft was created in November 1939, when Vultee Aircraft Division of AVCO was reorganized as an independent company.

Meanwhile, Vultee and Breese had redesigned the V-1 to meet American Airlines' needs and created the eight-passenger V-1A. American purchased 11 V-1As, but the plane ultimately failed due to safety concerns about a single-engine plane and the advent of the twin-engine Douglas DC-2s and DC-3s. Vultee redesigned the V-1 into the V-11 attack aircraft for the United States Army Air Corps, but it received few orders.

Before he could see Vultee become an independent company, Jerry Vultee and his wife died in a plane crash in the California mountains. Richard Millar succeeded Vultee, and Vultee Aircraft, Inc. began to develop military designs. Its major production programs, however, were the BT-13 Valiant trainer and V-72 Vengeance, serving as the A-31 and A-35.

On March 17, 1943, Consolidated and Vultee officially merged, creating Consolidated Vultee Aircraft Corporation, popularly known as Convair. The Vultee management resigned.