Construcciones Aeronáuticas SA (CASA), was a Spanish aircraft manufacturer that was founded in 1923 and began manufacturing aircraft the following year. In 1999 it became a subsidiary of the EADS (European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company) under the name EADS CASA and in 2009 was absorbed into Airbus Military. CASA is noted for designing and producing military transport aircraft such as the CASA C-212 Aviocar, the CASA C-295 and the CASA C-101 trainer/ground attack aircraft.
Construcciones Aeronáuticas SA (CASA) was founded by José Ortiz-Echagüe in 1923 and began work on a factory in Getafe in May 1924, building Breguet aircraft under license. The first order covered 26 19 A.2s; total production of this type eventually reached 400 units.
CASA built a second factory in Cadiz in 1926 to construct a licensed copy of the German Dornier Do. J Wal seaplane. They built 17 aircraft for the Spanish Air Force, 12 for the Naval Aviation branch of the Spanish Navy and two for commercial use. CASA also operated several branch facilities in Spain for the repair and overhaul of aircraft. In 1929 the CASA-1 flew - the first CASA designed aircraft. King Alfonso XIII visited the main factory in 1930. CASA also built the French Breguet XIX, two of which would be made especially famous. One, was the Breguet XIX GR (Grand Raid) named the Jesus del Gran Poder, currently preserved in the Museo del Aire de Cuatro Vientos (Madrid), which flew between Seville and Bahia, (in Brazil), in 1929. This aircraft was piloted by Captains Ignacio Jiménez and Francisco Iglesias and covered 6746 km in 43 hours 50 minutes. The other was the Breguet XIX Super Bidon, named the Four Winds; it was flown by Mariano Barberan and Collar Joaquin Serra to Havana in Cuba in 1933. In 1932 CASA obtained a license from the UK aircraft company, Vickers, to build 25 Vickers Vildebeest land-based torpedo bombers, which were powered by French Hispano 600 hp engines.
CASA 2.111 a licensed production version of the He-111-H Bomber, re-engined in Spain with imported Rolls-Royce Merlins at the end of World War II. CASA built 236 of this aircraft between 1940 and 1956
During the Spanish Civil War the CASA Getafe factory was located in the Republican zone. It was moved to Alicante, another opened in Sabadell. At the end of the war production returned to Getafe. CASA manufactured the Russian Polikarpov I-15 biplane fighter, producing 287 aircraft before the end of the civil war.
After the Spanish Civil War, CASA opened a new plant in Tablada in Seville, after obtaining various aircraft licenses from Germany and built 25 Gotha Go 145A as the CASA 1145, 25 Bücker Bü 133 Jungmeister as the CASA 1133 and 555 Bücker Bü 131 Jungmann as the CASA 1131. Production of these aircraft continued until the late 1950s. The CASA 201, a twin engine transport, (its engines were the Spanish-made ENMASA VAT Tigre G-125). In 1940 CASA began the licensed manufacture of 200 Heinkel He 111 twin engine bombers with imported Rolls Royce Merlins, as the CASA 2111. (These are the aircraft that were used as World War Two German Luftwaffe He-111s in various movies such as "The Battle of Britain" and "Patton".)
Starting in 1943, the Spanish government began investing in CASA, first obtaining a 33 per cent share of the company, by 1992 this had increased to a controlling 99.2 per cent. In 1945 CASA opened a factory in Madrid dedicated to manufacturing the parts and sub-assemblies of their various aircraft and those that they had contracts to repair and overhaul. In 1946 CASA re-established the Projects Office and resumed the design of aircraft based on the firm's proprietary technology. In 1957 CASA won a contract from the United States Air Force for the maintenance of the F-100 Super Sabres based in Europe and Turkey and a contract from the Spanish Air Force to overhaul T-33s in the Spanish Air Force. They began the manufacture of the Northrop F-5A fighter-bomber under license in 1962. In 1971, CASA merged with the other large Spanish aerospace firm Hispano Aviación.
CASA was one of the original members of the Airbus Consortium with France, Germany and the United Kingdom in 1972. In 1977, CASA was awarded the contract to design and build the C-101, a trainer and attack aircraft for the Spanish Air Force. CASA joined the Eurofighter 2000 project in 1996.