One built. It became the first turboprop airliner to fly in the United States on December 29, , but problems with the engines resulted in development being terminated. Used as a test bed before being converted back to piston power. The wingspan was extended for better performance at higher altitudes.

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Origins[ edit ] The Consolidated Vultee Aircraft Corporation, whose name was in the course of time changed to Convair, was an American aircraft, rocket, and spacecraft company for the design, development, and manufacturing of aerospace products.

It existed as a company from until , although the Consolidated Aircraft company existed before that, and Consolidated produced important aircraft in the early years of World War II , especially the B Liberator heavy bomber and the PBY Catalina seaplane for the U. The Catalina remained in production through May , and more than 4, were built. What was soon called "Convair" first unofficially, and then officially , was created in by the merger of the Consolidated Aircraft Company and the Vultee Aircraft Company.

This merger produced a large airplane company , ranked fourth among United States corporations by value of wartime production contracts, higher than the giants like Douglas Aircraft , Boeing , and Lockheed. The Convair B was the largest landbased piston engined bomber in the world. The Atlas missile , the F Delta Dagger and F Delta Dart delta-winged interceptors, and the delta-winged B Hustler supersonic intercontinental nuclear bomber were all Convair products.

For a period of time in the s, Convair manufactured its own line of jet commercial airliners, the Convair and Convair , but this did not turn out to be profitable.

However, Convair found that it was profitable to be an aviation subcontractor and manufacture large subsections of airliners—such as fuselages—for the larger airliner companies, McDonnell Douglas , Boeing , and Lockheed.

In the s Convair shifted money and effort to its missile and rocket projects, producing the Terrier missile ship-launched surface-to-air system for the U. Navy during the s and s. Air Force. It was replaced in by the room-temperature liquid-fueled Titan II missile and the solid-fueled Minuteman missile. The Atlas rocket transitioned into a civilian launch vehicle and was used for the first orbital manned U.

The Atlas rocket became a very reliable booster for launching of satellites and continued to evolve, remaining in use into the 21st century, when combined with the Centaur upper stage to form the Atlas-Centaur rocket for launching geosynchronous communication satellites and space probes.

The Centaur rocket was also designed, developed, and produced by Convair, and it was the first widely used outer space rocket to use the all- cryogenic fuel-oxidizer combination of liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen. The use of this liquid hydrogen — liquid oxygen combination in the Centaur was an important direct precursor to the use of the same fuel-oxidizer combination in the Saturn S-II second stage and the Saturn S-IVB third stage of the gigantic Saturn V moon rocket of the Apollo project.

The Centaur upper stage was first designed and developed for launching the Surveyor lunar landers, beginning in , to augment the delta-V of the Atlas rockets and give them enough payload capability to deliver the required mass of the Surveyors to the Moon. More than Convair-produced Atlas-Centaur rockets including those with their successor designations were used to successfully launch over satellites, and among their many other outer-space missions, they launched the Pioneer 10 and Pioneer 11 space probes, the first two to be launched on trajectories that carried them out of the Solar System.

In addition to aircraft, missiles, and space vehicles, Convair developed the large Charactron vacuum tubes, a form of cathode ray tube CRT computer display with a shaped mask to form characters, [3] and to give an example of a minor product, the CORDIC algorithms, which is widely used today to calculate trigonometric functions in calculators , field-programmable gate arrays , and other small electronic systems.

General Dynamics had tried for two years to sell the aircraft structures segment of Convair unit, but the effort ultimately failed. The defense contractor once employed 18, people there but after selling its missiles division to Hughes Aircraft in , its Atlas rocket operation to Martin Marietta earlier in and shutting down fuselage production in , that number is now zero. General Dynamics closed its complex in Kearny Mesa, demolishing the facility between and Homes and offices now occupy the site.

The Lindbergh Field plant that produced Bs during WWII was also demolished and the consolidated rental car facility now occupies this space. The Fort Worth, Texas factory, constructed to build the B Liberator bomber, and its associated engineering locations and laboratories—all previously used to make hundreds of Consolidated B bombers, General Dynamics F Aardvark fighter-bombers and F Fighting Falcon fighters for the U.

Air Force, along with dozens of smaller projects—were sold, along with all intellectual property and the legal rights to the products designed and built within, to the Lockheed Corporation.


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