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.