Consolidated Aircraft Corp. was created in 1923 when Reuben H. Fleet purchased the designs of the Gallaudet Aircraft Company and the Dayton-Wright Company. It produced a line of flying boats prior to World War II, followed by bombers and transports in the wartime and postwar years. Consolidated acquired the Vultee Aircraft company in 1943 and called itself Consolidated-Vultee. In 1953 the company was acquired by diversified defense contractor General Dynamics and functioned as a quasi-independent division of that company, known as Convair. Convair made advanced fighters and missiles as well as bombers and transports. For a time, Convair attempted to compete with Boeing and Douglas in the civil airliner market, but withdrew after the commercial failure of its C-880 jetliner.
Consolidated was first founded in Buffalo, New York, but in 1935 moved to San Diego, California, where it became established as one of the city’s largest employers.
In 1994 General Dynamics sold its Convair operation to McDonnell-Douglas, which quickly shut it down.