What Happened to Vought?

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by magnocain, Mar 27, 2008.

  1. magnocain

    magnocain Member

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    I was wondering, what ever happened to Vought? Did what company did they merge with or did they collapse all together?
     
  2. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    Simply stated Sol Love President of Vought (LTV) decided that the USN would comply with the Congressional directive that the Navy buy the winner of the USAF F-16/F-18 competition.. so Vought built the VFAX, the 'navalized' version of the F-16, as they felt it was the best of the two fighters.

    I was a GE Computer Services Sales manager with LTV as my biggest account in the 1975-1976 timeframe and Vought was the biggest single Customer of GE Computer Services. We were helping them with an early version of Excel doing CLI/WBS roll ups in the bid iterations, basically replacing in-house services for this purpose.

    The number of copies of the final proposal left town in a boxcar.

    The Navy gave Congress and LTV the single digit salute. Vought became a sub contractor (and still is ) with their very fine Composite and Chem Mill facilities building things like tails on the 747.

    Sad end to a proud company. My father was VP Mktng and head of the A-7D Program until he passed away in 1979

    Hope that helps

    Bill
     
  3. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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  4. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    Pretty sad that such a proud company is out of the airframe design business. Thanks for the link. I have a lot of fond memories building my sales career there after leaving Bell for GE

    My father was brought in to be the 'point' USAF beltway bandit and did 'sell' the A7D to Air Force as first USAF prime contract for Vought ever (and last)..

    he said that Paul Thayer and many ex Navy guys told him (Sol Love) NOT to partner with GD because the Navy would NEVER buy another AF airframe and would not bu a single seat/single engine fighter. Love was determined to go with 'best' believeing Navy would adhere to pressure.

    Obviously Thayer, et al were right.

    It may be interesting that in Toliver's Aces book, the picture of Dad and Priest were of Priest sitting in dad's lap in business suits rather than WWII pics - while they were both at Vought.. Ray Toliver sometimes had an interesting sense of humor and loved messing around with the old man.
     
  5. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Interesting stuff Bill. I was offered a job with Vought during the early B-2 days, as you know they were a major subcontractor. It is sad how this giant is now just a somewhat minor player, but at least they still exist as an entity.

    RIP
    Douglas
    Convair
    Ryan
    Hiller
    Piasecki
    Hughes
    Bell Aircraft
    Republic
    North American

    Just a few that come to mind
     
  6. magnocain

    magnocain Member

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    Thanks.
    So Vought is on the Lockheed side then.
     
  7. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    Joe - I had a similar experience. When I was thinking about leaving my relatively short deal at Lockheed to pursue Aero/Structures Computer modelling - which was a real new field. (Kelly J didn't trust it at that time.) I had an offer from Boeing, Bell, GD and Vought (late 69) and my father said 'bell' - it's the most stable.. and sure enough maybe 60,000 layoffs later at the other 3 (including Lockheed) I was humming along at Bell.

    The last time I walked the bays of Vought at Grand Prairie by the NAS it was a shell of the late 60's and mid 70's. VFAX/USN literally killed them.
     
  8. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    No - Read the whole company profile....

    "Vought Aircraft Industries, Inc. is an independent aerostructures company, under the ownership of The Carlyle Group since July 24, 2000"
     
  9. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Who would ever believe in the 1960s how the US aerospace industry would look in 2008?!?

    The day I got laid off from Lockheed in July of 1990 about 2,000 people went out all - on the same day. I was one of the lucky ones; I was actually unemployed for 3 days.

    This is an example why I've tried to stay away from manufacturers since leaving Lockheed, although had I bumped into my lowest hourly classification during that time I would still be there. I look back with no regrets because my departure from Lockheed allowed me to grow professionally in many areas that manufacturers don’t touch. It's one thing to build a plane; it's another thing to keep it flying on a budget.

    Despite the roller coaster ride I've taken I only been unemployed a total of 10 days - all by my choice, and never once had to collect unemployment (knocking on wood).

    BTW - Next week will officially mark 30 years for me being in this crazy industry. My first job was a part time gig with Aviation Warehouse doing aircraft salvage - perfect job for an A&P student.
     
  10. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    Flyboy, remember back in 1990 and 1991 when the aerospace industry collapsed in California, all those liberals who were stridently anti military suddenly turned hawkish when it was their constituents getting the boot?
     
  11. magnocain

    magnocain Member

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    But more Lockheed than Boeing, right?
     
  12. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    YEP!!! - Fienstien was all over the B-2. She came by the plant for a tour - someone shouted out "go home liberal b!tch." You could hear laughter from one end of the hanagr to the other. It's funny how quick those idiots figured out how important the defense industry was to socal.

    :rolleyes: Have you read anything about them from the link I posted???

    "Vought Aircraft Industries, Inc. is an independent aerostructures company, under the ownership of The Carlyle Group since July 24, 2000"
     
  13. magnocain

    magnocain Member

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    Oh...so it is neither.
     
  14. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    correct - they'll do subcontract work for whoever needs the help...
     
  15. Matt308

    Matt308 Glock Perfection
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    Vought makes structure under contract for Boeing, most notably the 787. Perhaps there is the confusion.
     
  16. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    I was working at Temco in the 1950s. We were right next to Vought in those days. Vought was developing the F8 but the aircraft they had flying was the F7U Cutlass. There were a lot of them flying in and out of the NAS next door. It seems to me that I remember that the Cutlass had a problem that firing the cannon caused flame outs. They were trying to eliminate that problem, I think. I used to watch those Cutlasses coming over the fence and they were at a high AOA and really looked weird. Vought still had a few F4Us around also and I would go out and admire them. It was funny that the rumor filtered over to Temco that Vought was going to design the F8 with a variable incidence wing so the AC did not have to land at a high AOA. Turned out to be true. Temco was building parts of airplanes. We built the ass end of the F101 and some others too. We were also developing the TT1-Pinto. Ugh! Jim Ling bought Temco and then merged them with Vought to form LTV. A shame that Vought and Grumman are not still around as stand alone companies. The last Vought fighter was the Super Crusader(or something like that) It was a hot air plane but was beat out by the F4. Grumman was killed by the (I think) poor decision to buy the F18 rather than the new manufacture Strike Tomcat.
     
  17. davparlr

    davparlr Well-Known Member

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    What a difference a model makes. The F7U had many problems and died quickly and with little or no regrets. It was a unique design and had substantial execution problems. The F8U, however, is a classic, and one of the aircraft that inspired my aviation interest (of course there were quite a few). An AT-6 flew over my house yesterday, probably going to Torrance. It took me back to my childhood, looking up and seeing a sky full of yellow SNJs buzzing around. I used to be afraid when they came by low and I would run, I don't know where. Since we lived under the landing pattern for the East runway at Sherman field, I must have been running alot.
     
  18. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    There were two attempts. The first as you say was to compete against the Phanotm II follow on contract.

    The next ressurection was, (I think it was called) the 'V-1000', was a much hotter fighter than the F-8 and Vought's entry to LW Fighter bid for joint services - it was rejected quickly by USAF at the start of the competition of the F-18/F-16... because it was also single engine it probably never had a chance with USN anyway for the follow on VFAX contract for winner.
     
  19. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    Rich - I think Grumman and Vought had the same problem. The USAF fly off was first and Grumman and Vought Bids were rejected by USAF and Congress had decreed that the AF winner would be modified for Carrier qual - and that as they say was that..and the F-15 was already in play.. The Navy was not going to get funding to 'go their own way with a totally separate set if specs..

    This decision killed Vought and Grumman and saved Northrup..within several years the proudest Fighter Airframe companies of WWII (NAA, Grumman, Vought) were gone and only MacDAC survived with Northrup and GD and Republic was struggling to win A-10 against modified Vought two seat version of A-7D. Go figure.
     
  20. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    I believe the Cutlass was the first carrier borne AC with afterburners. Paul Thayer had an interesting experience in that AC with afterburners. During an air show he pitched up into the vertical with afterburning and the AC caught on fire. He ditched over nearby water and no one was hurt. Was kidded about a spectacular stunt. I never understood why the F14 wasn't adopted by the Air Force for the interceptor role in stead of the F15. With it's Phoenix system it would have been just as capable. It was developed before the F15 and economies of scale would have been in play. Oh well.
     
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