THOMAS-MORSE

Thomas Bros, had first real aircraft assembly line in N. America, but more rapid expansion was needed. Asked neighbour Morse Chain to take control; Thomas-Morse Aircraft Corp. formed January 1917, F.L. Morse president, doubled size of plant, built S-4 fighter and received order for 100 S-4A as advanced trainers, followed by 1,050 S-4C of which 498 delivered. MB-1 and -2 fighters remained prototypes, but MB-3 (21 February 1919) seemed excellent fighter for post-war Army, but production of 200 went to low-bidder Boeing. T-M never really recovered, though produced numerous fighters and racers and, in 1928, XO-19 observation biplane which led to 180 of various O-19 versions. This business looked good to Consolidated, which bought T-M 1929.

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