St. Louis Aircraft Corporation

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St. Louis Aircraft Corporation
Former type Aircraft manufacturer
Founded 1917
Defunct 1945
Headquarters St. Louis, Missouri
Products Aircraft
Employees 600 (1918)

St. Louis Aircraft Corporation was an American aircraft manufacturer founded in September 1917.[1]

In 1915, the St. Louis Car Company had been approached by Thomas W. Benoist to build 1000 flying boats. A prototype was built, but the concept did not into production.[2]

In 1917 The United States government needed to form a production interest for World War I aircraft production needs. The St. Louis Aircraft Corporation was founded by A.J. Seigel of the Hutting Sash and Door company, and Edwin B Messner of the St. Louis Car Company.[3] Their two companies had skilled labor and facilities needed to construct wood framed aircraft. The company became one of six across the country to produce the Curtiss JN-4D Jenny with first deliveries in 1918. The first order (720552) was for 200 aircraft,[4] the company delivered 30 aircraft a month, and 57 JN-4D's in October 1918.[5][6]

The company went dormant until 1928 when it started production of the Cardinal and later the Cardinal Senior.[7] The company ordered 100 100 hp Kinner K-T radial engines to power the light monoplane, but production ceased in 1931 in the peak of the depression.[8]

The company continued to build parts while aircraft production was not viable. It specialized in supplying components for the Engineering section at Wright Field.[9] In the buildup to WWII, the company developed its own biplane trainer the St. Louis PT-35, which lost to the Boeing Stearman. It also produced a low winged trainer to compete in an Army contract, the St. Louis PT-LM-4. It lost out to the Fairchild PT-19 model.

The company was put into service again for World War II production. The company subcontracted aircraft parts for the effort and built 44 Fairchild PT-19 and 306 PT-23 licensed aircraft designs.[10] It also was one of 8 companies that competed for a combat troop glider. Its XCG-5 did not go into production.[11]

In 1945, the St. Louis Aircraft Corporation was shut down after wartime contracts ended.[12]

Aircraft[edit]

Summary of aircraft built by
Model name First flight Number built Type
Curtiss JN-4D (license built) 1918 Scout plane
St. Louis Cardinal 1928 21 Sport monoplane
St. Louis PT-35 1935 1 Biplane primary trainer
St. Louis YPT-15 1940 14 Primary Trainer
St. Louis PT-LM-4 1940 1 Primary Trainer
St Louis CG-5 1941 1 Combat glider
PT-19 (License built) 1941 44 Primary trainer
PT-23 (License built) 1941 306 Primary trainer

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jeremy R Cox. St. Louis Aviation. 
  2. ^ "Thomas Benoist and the World's First Airline". Gateway News. November 1984. 
  3. ^ Aerial age, Volume 8. 
  4. ^ Congressional edition, Volume 7768 By United States. Congress. 
  5. ^ Aerospace Industries Association of America. Aircraft yearbook. 
  6. ^ United States. Congress. House. Select Committee on Expenditures in the War Department. War expenditures: hearings before subcommittee no. 1, Volume 3. 
  7. ^ David Mondey. The complete illustrated encyclopedia of the world's aircraft. 
  8. ^ Airway age Volume 11. 1930. 
  9. ^ Aerospace Industries Association of America Aeronautical Chamber of Commerce of America (1936). Flying Volume 4. 
  10. ^ "St.Louis Cardinal". Retrieved 16 September 2011. 
  11. ^ Richard Stewart KirKendall. A History Of Missouri: 1919 To 1953. 
  12. ^ William Earl Parrish, William E. Foley, Richard S. Kirkendall, Perry McCandless. A History of Missouri: 1919 to 1953. 

Bibliography[edit]