Thomas-Morse Aircraft

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Thomas Brothers Aeroplane Company factory floor in Ithaca, New York in 1915
Thomas Brothers Aeroplane Company in Ithaca, New York in 1915

The Thomas-Morse Aircraft Corporation was an American aircraft manufacturer, until it was taken over by the Consolidated Aircraft Corporation in 1929.

History[edit]

Founded in 1910 by English expatriates William T. Thomas and his brother Oliver W. Thomas[1] as Thomas Brothers Company in Hammondsport, New York,[2] the company moved to Hornell, New York, and moved again to Bath, New York the same year.[2] During 1912 and 1913, the company operated the affiliated Thomas School of Aviation at Cayuga Lake in New York state[2] (taking a page from Glenn Curtiss, who did much the same). In 1913, the name became Thomas Brothers Aeroplane Company and based in Ithaca, New York.[2] In 1915, Thomas Aeromotor Company was added.

In 1915, Thomas Brothers built T-2 tractor biplanes (designed by Benjamin D. Thomas, no relation to the brothers and also an Englishman, formerly of Vickers, Sopwith, and Curtiss,[1] and later the company's chief designer) for the Royal Naval Air Service.[3] and (fitted with floats in place of wheels)[4] to the United States Navy as the SH-4. In 1916, the company won a contract from the United States Army Signal Corps for two aircraft for evaluation, the D-5.[4]

In January 1917, the company merged with Morse Chain Company (headed by Frank L. Morse), and recapitalized, becoming Thomas-Morse Aircraft Corporation, still based in Ithaca.[2] The company then made an attempt at selling training biplanes to the United States Army and was successful with the S-4 trainer (which included a handful of S-5 floatplanes and a single S-4E) and MB series of fighters. The last company design was the O-19 observation biplane. In 1929 the company was taken over by the Consolidated Aircraft Corporation, becoming the Thomas-Morse Division, and ceased business in 1934.[2]

Aircraft[edit]

D-2
HS
MB-3

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b http://www.fiddlersgreen.net/models/Aircraft/Thomas-Morse.html
  2. ^ a b c d e f Aerofiles:Thomas, retrieved 8/4/2008
  3. ^ Donald, David, ed. Encyclopedia of World Aircraft (Etobicoke, Ontario: Prospero Books, 1997), p.875, "Thomas Brothers and Thomas-Morse aircraft".
  4. ^ a b Donald, p.875.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Donald, David, ed. Encyclopedia of World Aircraft, p. 854, "Standard aircraft". Etobicoke, Ontario: Prospero Books, 1997.
  • The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Aircraft (Part Work 1982-1985). Orbis Publishing, 1985, p. 3000.

External links[edit]

Media related to Thomas-Morse aircraft at Wikimedia Commons