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Curtiss-Wright Corporation

Curtiss-Wright was formed from the merger of Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company and Wright Aeronautical in 1929. Curtiss was the world's largest aircraft manufacturer at the end of the First World War, However, by 1937 the company's commercial success had left it "fat, flabby, and pompous" (Bodie 1991), and this was reflected in mediocre designs and unreliable engines during the war years.

Curtiss-Wright designed and manufactured the P-40 Warhawk fighter (30 airframes per month), SB2C Helldiver dive bomber (44 airframes per month), and C-46 Commando transport (44 airframes per month) at plants in the central and eastern United States. The company also manufactured the R-1820, R-2600, and R-3350 aircraft engines.

Curtiss-Wright was investigated by the Truman Committee over the unreliability of its aircraft engines. In spite of support for Curtiss-Wright from numerous Army and Navy officers and The New York Times, the Truman Committee returned a scathing report that forced Curtiss-Wright to improve their quality control procedures on their manufacturing lines.

References

AAFSD

Bodie (1991)

Curtiss-Wright corporate website (accessed 2014-2-12)

Fleming (2001)


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