The Aviation Corporation was formed on March 2, 1929, to prevent a takeover of CAM-24 airmail service operator Embry-Riddle Company by Clement Melville Keys, who planned on buying Curtiss aircraft rather than Sherman Fairchild's. With capital from Fairchild, George Hann, the Lehman Brothers, and W. A. Harriman, the holding company began acquiring small airlines. By the end of 1929, it had acquired interests in over 90 aviation-related companies. In January 1930, the board broke off the airlines into Colonial and Universal Air Lines. Universal Air Lines name was changed to American Airways, and later merged with Colonial to form American Airlines.
The company was required to divest American Airlines in 1934 due to new rules for air mail contracts. The Aviation Corporation ranked 32nd among United States corporations in the value of World War II production contracts. Two months after World War II ended the Aviation Corporation branched into the manufacture of farm machinery with its acquisition of the New Idea Company in October 1945. The company later changed its name to Avco Manufacturing Corporation, and then, in 1959, to Avco Corporation. In 1984 Avco sold its farm machinery division to White Farm Equipment and Avco was purchased by Textron.
Early companies bought or merged by Avco
- Aviation Corporation formed March 29, 1929
- Southern Air Transport
- Colonial Air Lines – May 1929
- Colonial Western – May 1929
- Canadian Colonial Airways May 1929
- Embry-Riddle Aviation Corporation – Summer 1929, Embry-Riddle Flying School closed 1930
- Interstate Airlines – CAM-30 Summer 1929
- Fairchild Aircraft
- Wien Air Alaska
- The Superplane Company
- Universal Air Line System Terminal Company
- Midplane Sales and Transit Company
- Northern Airplane Company
- Air Transportation, Inc.
- Robertson Flying School Inc.
- Egyptian Airways Inc. (Marion Illinois)
- Universal Aviation Corporation – bought by Avco in 1930
- Universal Aviation Schools
- Roosevelt Field, New York
- Curtiss Field
- Southwest Air Fast Express June 1931
- 1929 Aviation Corporation (AVCO) holding company formed by multiple participants
- 1932 Airplane Development Corporation formed as a subsidiary of the Cord Corporation by Gerard F. "Jerry" Vultee
- 1934 AVCO acquired the Airplane Development Corporation from Cord and formed the Aviation Manufacturing Corporation (AMC)[failed verification]
- 1936 AMC liquidated to form the Vultee Aircraft Division, an autonomous subsidiary of AVCO
- 1939 Vultee Aircraft Division of AVCO reorganized as an independent company known as Vultee Aircraft, Inc.
- 1940 Barkley-Grow Aircraft acquired by AVCO
- 1941 Consolidated Aircraft Corporation sold to AVCO
- 1943 Consolidated-Vultee, known as Convair, formed by the merger of Consolidated Aircraft and Vultee Aircraft; still controlled by AVCO
- 1945 AVCO acquired the New Idea Company from the heirs of Joseph Oppenheim who founded the farm machinery manufacturer in 1899.
- 1945 AVCO acquired Crosley Corporation from Powel Crosley Jr.
- 1947 Convair acquired by the Atlas Corporation
- 1947 AVCO name changed to Avco Manufacturing Corporation
- 1951 Purchased Bendix Home Appliances, South Bend, Indiana manufacturer of automatic clothes washers, combining Bendix Appliances with Crosley Appliances
- 1956 Avco sold Bendix Home Appliances to Philco
- 1959 Avco Manufacturing Corporation name changed to Avco Corporation
- 1966 Avco acquired Carte Blanche charge cards from First National City Bank
- 1967 Avco acquires Embassy Pictures
- 1968 Avco acquires the developer of Rancho Bernardo, San Diego
- 1971 Avco acquires a stake in the developer of Laguna Niguel, California
- 1975-1977 Crosley Broadcasting stations divested
- 1976 Sold rights to Crosley Appliances to Crosley Corporation, a new distributor who contracted for appliances from companies such as Whirlpool Corporation and Electrolux
- 1978 Sold Carte Blanche to Citibank
- 1982 Sold Embassy Pictures to Norman Lear and Jerry Perenchio
- 1984 Avco sold the New Idea line of farm machinery to Allied Corporation, which then purchased the White Farm Equipment, forming White-New Idea
- 1984 Textron acquires Avco Corporation, renames it Avco Systems Textron
- 1985 Avco Systems Textron becomes Textron Defense Systems
- 1995 Textron Systems Corporation is created, consisting of what is now Textron Defense Systems, Textron Marine & Land Systems, and Lycoming
- Coldwater, Ohio (1945–1984)
- Stratford Army Engine Plant (1951–1976)
- Connersville, Indiana (1937 - 1960) AVCO purchases assets of Cord's Auburn Automobile Company in 1937. Manufactures kitchen appliances until sale in 1959 to Design and Manufacturing dishwasher division. Manufactures 500,000 Jeep bodies for Overland and Ford during WWII. 1959 AVCO sells to Sam Reginstrief, 1960 AVCO sells to HH Robertson and moves munitions to Richmond, Indiana, former Crosley Plant
- Nashville, Tennessee (1959–1985)
- Avco World Trophy
- AVCOAT 5026-39
- Crosley Broadcasting Corporation (later Avco Broadcasting Corporation)
- M2 (railcar), part of this series was built by Avco
- "Avco Corporation: Private Company Information - BusinessWeek". Investing.businessweek.com. Retrieved 2011-12-18.
- F. Robert Van der Linden. Airlines and air mail: the post office and the birth of the commercial aviation industry. p. 57.
- F. Robert Van der Linden. Airlines and air mail: the post office and the birth of the commercial aviation industry. p. 112.
- Peck, Merton J. & Scherer, Frederic M. The Weapons Acquisition Process: An Economic Analysis (1962) Harvard Business School p.619
- “Scope Broadened by Aviation Corp.," New York Times, October 30, 1945 stating that AVCO “will purchase slightly over 50% of New Idea’s outstanding shares from the four managing officers of the company, Henry Synck and J.A, J.H. and T.H. Oppenheim” and “Mr. Synck will be retained as a consultant and director and each of the Messrs. Oppenheim will remain officers and directors." See also:”New Idea Development,” Celina Daily Standard, August 27, 1999, page 7A, Sidebar. See also:Brian Wayne Wells, “The New Idea Spreader Company (part 2 of 2 Parts)” Belt/Pulley Magazine, Vol.11, No.6, November/December 1998, Part 2,  (accessed Nov. 8, 2010). AVCO, founded in 1928 as The Aviation Corporation, is now a subsidiary of Textron. In 1950, the last entirely orange wagon with green wheels and the New Idea motto, “Invention, Leadership, Quality,” rolled out of the Coldwater facility. The serial number of the wagon was 11,398 and the lot number was W-108. Wells, “The New Idea Spreader Company … Part 2”
- Textron Systems History Archived November 30, 2010, at the Wayback Machine, 1984 History, "Textron acquires Avco, including Lycoming, to become Avco Systems Textron", 2010, accessed 2010-11-27.
- "The Associates Announces Acquisition Of Avco Financial Services". Prnewswire.co.uk. Retrieved 2011-12-18.
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- F. Robert Van der Linden. Airlines and air mail: the post office and the birth of the commercial. p. 57.
- Donald M. Pattillo. Pushing the Envelope: The American Aircraft Industry.
- Howard Lee Scamehorn. Balloons to Jets: A Century of Aeronautics in Illinois, 1855-1955.
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- Paul Stephen Dempsey; Andrew R. Goetz. Airline deregulation and laissez-faire mythology. p. 54.
- Textron Lycoming Turbine Engine, a Company History of AVCO and Lycoming/Textron
- Avco Financial Services, Inc. from the Lehman Brothers Collection – Twentieth Century Business Archives
- Consolidated Vultee Aircraft Corporation Archived June 6, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, U.S. Centennial of Flight Commission
- General Dynamics Corporation Archived 2008-11-12 at the Wayback Machine, U.S. Centennial of Flight Commission
- Central Manufacturing Co. of Connersville, Indiana, a history of Cord, AVCO, and others
- "Westward Ho..." Aviation. Vol. 35, no. 2. McGraw-Hill Publishing Company. February 1936. p. 17. Retrieved 26 June 2021.
- "Aviation Corporation to Build". Aviation. Vol. 34, no. 2. McGraw-Hill Publishing Company. February 1935. p. 66. Retrieved 26 June 2021.
- "Aviation Corporation Acquires Plane Firm". Nashville Tennessean. AP. 3 June 1940. p. 3.
- "Cars, Radios & Appliances: How Powel Crosley Jr. Changed Industries". Retro Planet. 18 July 2014.
- "Judson S. Sayre". 12 May 1986 – via NYTimes.com.
- "Bendix Sale by Avco to Philco Affirmed". 14 November 1956 – via NYTimes.com.
- "Justice Won't Fight Carte Blanche Buy". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. 3 April 1978. p. 21. Retrieved 14 April 2014 – via Google News Archive.
- "History - Rancho Bernardo Historical Society". Retrieved 2016-10-14.
- Hammer, Alexander R. (1969-10-14). "AVCO UNIT TO GET SHARE OF LAGUNA; $19-Million Transaction Set by the Two Concerns". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-10-14.
- PR Newswire, December 8, 1999. “1999 AGCO To Close Its Coldwater, Ohio Facility Lockney, Texas Plant to Cease Production by Second Quarter The Free Library(December, 8), http://www.thefreelibrary.com/AGCO To Close Its Coldwater, Ohio Facility Lockney, Texas Plant to...-a058077591(accessed November 21, 2010)”
- "Stratford's troubled Army Engine Plant property back on market - Connecticut Post". Ctpost.com. 2011-08-19. Retrieved 2011-12-18.
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