Convair, as I knew them in my youth, had a typically convoluted history. High points are noted in a timeline compiled from A Chronicle Of The Aviation Industry In America 1903 1947, subtitled "A Salute To The Aviation Industry" entries.
Consolidated Aircraft Corporation before the war was best known for their flying boats. One of those designs, the PBY Catalina, became a mainstay of US Navy actions, especially reconnaissance and anti-submarine work, but also air-sea rescue, during the War. With some experience with fairly large multi-engined planes, Consolidated submitted a heavy bomber design and won contracts for the B-24 Liberator, which was a workhorse in all theaters the British used them for anti-submarine and coastal patrols and the US used them in both the heavy bomber role and, as the C-87 Liberator Express (LB-30 in the export version) cargo (and fuel) transport. They also had a contract for a four-engined super-heavy bomber, the B-32 Dominator, as a backup for the Boeing B-29 Superfortress program. A small number of B-32s went operational in the very late stages of the war.
During the war, Consolidated Aircraft Corporation merged with Vultee Aircraft Corporation to become Consolidated-Vultee Aircraft Corporation, which is the corporate name most often cited in that time frame. Vultee built trainers and single-engined attack/dive bombers. The other division of Consolidated-Vultee Aircraft Corporation of wartime note was Stinson, which built liaison/observation/utility lightplanes.
# indicates prewar
(lists compiled from Wikipedia)
- #Consolidated PT-1 Trusty, Husky trainer
- #Consolidated NY trainer
- #Consolidated Model 14 Husky, Jr
- #Consolidated PT-3 trainer
- #Consolidated O-17 Courier
- #Consolidated Fleetster
- #Consolidated Commodore
- #Consolidated PT-11
- #Consolidated XB2Y
- Consolidated P-30, A-11, Y1P-25, single-engine fighter/ground attack
- #Consolidated P2Y
- Consolidated PBY Catalina, "Model 28", two-engined patrol bomber
- Consolidated PB2Y Coronado, "Model 29", four-engined patrol bomber/transport
- Consolidated XPB3Y, proposed long-range development from PB2Y, not built
- Consolidated XP4Y Corregidor or "Model 31", two-engined patrol bomber
- Consolidated B-24 Liberator, "Model 32", four-engined heavy bomber
The B-24 airframe was one of the most extensively modified during the war. From the B-24 Liberators supplied to Britain through the B-24N single-tail version which spawned the PB4Y-2 Privateer and the C-87C/R2Y transports, the basic airframe with its Davis wing was a versatile workhorse.
- Consolidated XB-41 Liberator, escort fighter conversion of B-24
- Consolidated PB4Y-1 Liberator US Navy conversion of B-24
- Consolidated C-87 Liberator Express, cargo/transport version of B-24
- Consolidated C-109 Liberator, tanker conversion of B-24
- Consolidated F-7 Liberator, photo-reconnaissance conversion of B-24
- Consolidated Liberator , export versions of B-24 for RAF
- Consolidated PB4Y-2 Privateer, four-engined Navy patrol bomber developed from B-24
- Consolidated RY-3, cargo/transport conversion of PB4Y-2
- Consolidated TBY Sea Wolf, single-engined torpedo bomber, transferred from Chance Vought
- Consolidated B-32 Dominator, "Model 33", four-engined super-heavy bomber
- Consolidated R2Y Liberator Liner, "Model 39", four-engined transport designed around B-24 wing
- #Stinson SB-1 Detroiter
- #Stinson SM-1 Detroiter
- #Stinson SM-2 Junior
- #Stinson SR Reliant
- Stinson L-1 Vigilant liaison/observation/utility lightplane
- Stinson Model 105 Voyager
- Stinson L-5 Sentinel/AT-19/L-9, conscripted Voyager liaison/observation/utility lightplane
- Stinson SR-10/AT-19/V-77 Reliant liaison/observation/utility lightplane
- Stinson L-13 Grasshopper (one of many planes with that nickname) postwar liaison/observation/utility lightplane
- Stinson 108, postwar civilian lightplane
- Vultee A-31 Vengeance, "Vultee 72", single-engined dive bomber
- Vultee A-35 Vengeance, "Vultee 72", single-engined dive bomber
- Vultee XA-41, proposed single-engined attack bomber
- Vultee BT-13/BT-15/SNV Valiant, "Vultee 74D", basic trainer
- Vultee XP-54 Swoose Goose, "Vultee 70", experimental single-engined fighter
- Vultee P-66 Vanguard, V-49, single-engine fighter
- Vultee XP-68 Tornado, re-engined XP-54
- #Vultee V-1
- Vultee V-11/A-19, single-engined light bomber/ground attack
- Vultee V-12, single-engined light bomber/ground attack, upgraded for license build for China
- "Lofting Speeds Production for Consolidated" [ HTML ] describes the lofting process of preparation for production.
- "World's Records the World Over" has photos of a PBY and a PB2Y with a map of the world showing air routes and a list of accomplishments.
- "Consolidated gives wings to preparedness" shows a PB2Y and a B-24 over their San Diego plant.
- "The emblem of Consolidated
." shows a PBY, a B-24 and a PB2Y below a large Consolidated emblem.
- "Flying on many fronts!" shows a PBY-4 or -5 in flight, seen from 10 o;clock high, and badges for six operating nations.
- "Wings for our way of life", shows drawings of PBY, PB2Y, and B-24. Names assigned differ from (later) standard usage: PBY Fleet Aireye and PB2Y Fleetstar are variant, while B-24 Liberator reflects the British naming convention, which became the standard.
- "Air Power is Sea Power" features drawings of a Coronado in flight and a PBY on the water.
- Consolidated Aircraft Corp ran a series of ads featuring copperpoint or scratchboard drawings:
- "Liberty Ship World War II" shows a PB2Y Coronado in flight over coastline, seen from 3 o'clock high. Plane has "meatball" insignia; markings: 13-P-1.
- A series of two-page ads from Consolidated Vultee Aircraft Corp done in a comic-book/instruction-manual style featured the B-24 and C-87 as integral parts of the combat and transport forces, respectively:
- "The Joker in Air Power" is a bid to keep tax dollars coming in to support development of new types. It includes 2 drawings of B-24Js and thumbnails of the entire Consolidated Vultee lineup.
- A-31/A-35 Vengeance
- B-24 Liberator
- PBY Catalina
- PB2Y Coronado
- A Consolidated ad, "American Eagle 1942 Model", is a drawing of the plane in flight, seen from 4 o'clock high, with an eagle in the foreground.
- A BF Goodrich "Airplane of the Month" ad, "Consolidated PB2Y-3", is a color painting of Coronados, one taking off and one in flight above.
- A Consolidated ad, "Liberty Ship World War 2", features a photo of a PBY-2 in flight over a built-up coastline. View is from 3 o'clock high.
- A Pratt & Whithey color front cover ad, "Navy Air Transports fly the Seven Seas", is a painting of a stylized Coronado in OD camo, seen from 10 o'clock high.
- A color gallery photo shows PB2Y-2s on the water (probably off San Diego); near plane seen from 10 o'clock.
Caption: "Giant of the Navy's air force is the Consolidated PB2Y-2 Coronado. It has four engines, long range, many guns."
- "Landing puddles or airports" includes a photo of a Coronado on step on the water, seen from 1 o'clock. Insignia are star-in-circle, with no meatball and no bars.
- A color gallery photo shows a Coronado in flight over small islands. Viewpoint is from 2 o'clock high.
Caption: "This Coronado is setting out on a Pacific patrol. These big boats have shot down many Jap attackers.
- A color gallery photo shows PB2Y-3 Coronados under camouflage netting, probably at the factory. Viewpoint is from below left wing of near plane; far plane seen from 1 o'clock.
Caption: "Coronado (PB2Y-3, dubbed "Two-by-Three" by airmen) is used for patrol and cargo flying."
- A Curtiss Electric Propellers ad, "Special Delivery to the Fleet," features a color drawing of 3 Coronados: one in flight, seen from 10 o'clock, one on water, being loaded from a dock, seen from about 7 o'clock; and the forepart of #1 nacelle of a third plane in the foreground.