Chance M. Vought (1890-1930) started the Lewis and Vought Corp. in 1917. It existed as a fully independent company until 1928, when it was acquired by United Aircraft, a conglomerate that included Boeing, Sikorsky, Stearman and Pratt & Whitney and which also operated United Air Lines until the U.S. government broke up the company in 1934. During the World War II years it formed part of the Vought Sikorsky division of United Aircraft in Stratford, Connecticut. It moved to the Dallas, Texas area in 1949, then in 1954 spun off from United Aircraft to become the independent Chance Vought company. In 1962 it became part of Ling-Temco-Vought. In 1992 it was acquired from the troubled LTV concern by Northrop and the Carlyle private equity group, and there were more transactions after that, but by that time Vought had become irrelevant to aviation except as a component manufacturer. It now exists as a division of Triumph Aerostructures.
Vought’s heyday lasted from 1922 to the 1980s, during which time it focused on carrier-based fighter and attack aircraft, producing several distinguished designs. The names given to Vought’s airplanes generally had a swashbuckling character, often relating to pirates.