These factories employed many foreign and forced laborers; from 1944 prisoners of war were also used. The Eighth Air Force bombed the Marienburg Focke-Wulf factory, which covered 100 acres (0.40 km2) and produced about half of all Fw 190s, on October 9, 1943.
The company also suffered a major “brain drain”, with crucial staff fleeing Germany after the war.
For example, between 1947 and 1955, Kurt Tank (a senior Focke-Wulf engineer and designer of the FW 190) was one of many Focke-Wulf employees who worked at the Instituto Aerotécnico de Córdoba, Argentina. Others, including company founder Henrich Focke, went to Brazil’s Department of Aerospace Science and Technology and helped that country develop the Embraer.
In 1951 Focke-Wulf began producing gliders; in 1955 it began to produce powered aircraft again. The company also expanded into rocket manufacturing when Focke-Wulf, Weserflug and Hamburger Flugzeugbau formed the Entwicklungsring Nord (ERNO) in 1961.
ITT Corporation, which had purchased a 25% stake in the company before World War II, also received $27 million in damages in the 1960s for damage caused by Allied bombings in World War II in its part of the Focke-Wulf complex.
In a formal merger in 1964, Focke-Wulf and Weserflug created Vereinigte Flugtechnische Werke (VFW) and after several further mergers became the European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company NV (EADS).
Later, EADS was restructured to become Airbus in the 1970s.
7. Consolidated Aircraft created the incredibly successful B-24 Liberator
Estimated total number of aircraft built (top 30): 18,482
Most produced aircraft:
– Consolidated B-24 Liberator (Country: USA, role: heavy bomber, production date range: 1940-1945, estimated total: 18,482)
What happened to Consolidated Aircraft after World War II?
The Consolidated Aircraft Corporation and Vultee Aircraft joined in 1943 to create Consolidated-Vultee Aircraft, otherwise known as Convair.
Convair continued to manufacture aircraft and parts after General Dynamics acquired a majority stake in the company in March 1953. Convair was eventually sold to McDonnell Douglas in 1994. After only two years of existence, McDonnell Douglas closed the split in 1996.
8. Yakovlev made very sturdy planes throughout WWII
Estimated total number of aircraft built (top 30): 16,769
Most produced aircraft:
– Yakovlev Yak-9 (Country: The Soviet Union, Role: Fighter, Production date range: 1942-1948, Estimated total build: 16,769)
What happened to Yakovlev after World War II?
Post-war Yakovlev (JSC AS Yakovlev Design Bureau to give the company its full name) continued to manufacture and design a range of aircraft (both jet and piston) for military and civilian use until the breakout of the Soviet Union.
In the post-Soviet era, the company created the Pchela (aka “the Bee”) drone surveillance aircraft, which first flew in 1990. However, it is arguably best known for its iconic line piston engine fighter aircraft of World War II.
Irkut purchased the organization in April 2004. In February 2006, the holding company was merged with Mikoyan, Ilyushin, Irkut, Sukhoi and Tupolev to form United Aircraft Building Corporation, as mentioned earlier.
9. The Douglas Aircraft Company fell out of favor in the 1960s
Estimated total number of aircraft built (top 30): 16,079
Most produced aircraft:
– Douglas DC-3 (Country: USA, role: airliner/transport, production date range: 1935-1952, estimated total built: 16,079)
What happened to the Douglas Aircraft Company after World War II?
Douglas made some of America’s most iconic warplanes, including the SBD Dauntless and the DC-3. The latter, primarily a transport aircraft, was also used as a scout/light bomber in some variants.
With the end of government aircraft orders and a surplus of aircraft, Douglas Aircraft suffered severe reductions after the war. This included laying off approximately 100,000 employees.
After that, Douglas won contracts to develop intercontinental warfare systems and continued to develop commercial aircraft.
The successful four-engined Douglas DC-6 and its last propeller-driven commercial aircraft, the Douglas DC-7, were two new aircraft that Douglas continued to create during this period. As part of its expansion into jet propulsion, the company built its first aircraft for the US Navy in 1948, the straight-wing F3D Skyknight, and then in 1951 the F4D Skyray, more inspired by the era of “jets”. “.
To compete with the new Boeing 701, Douglas also produced commercial jets in the 1950s.
Douglas was a pioneer in related areas, such as ejection seats, air-to-air, surface-to-air and air-to-surface missiles, launch rockets, bombs and bomb racks.
By the 1950s, the company was ready to enter the new missile industry. As part of the 1956 Nike missile program, Douglas moved from manufacturing rockets and air-to-air missiles to building complete missile systems. It then became the prime contractor for the Skybolt air-launched ballistic missile program and the Thor ballistic missile program. In particular, Douglas received contracts from NASA to design the S-IVB stage of the Saturn IB and Saturn V rockets.