Goodyear Aerospace Corporation was the aerospace and defence subsidiary of Goodyear.
The company was established in 1917 as the Goodyear Zeppelin Corporation. It became Goodyear Aircraft Corporation on December 5, 1939 in response to a contract from the Glenn L. Martin Company to design and build the empannage section for its new plane, the B-26 Marauder. The army had placed a large order and Goodyear had available manufacturing space at its huge Airship Dock, near Akron Ohio.
By 1941, manufacturing facilities in Akron were running at full capacity and ground was broken on July 15,1941 at an additional location just west of Phoenix, Arizona. Goodyear was familiar with the area, and had been operating a large cotton ranch there for decades. Arizona produced more than three million pounds of airframes during World War II.
Goodyear Aircraft Company in Goodyear, Arizona, in 1951, the Arizona employees past and present played a long and storied role in numerous SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar) firsts. These include the original SAR patent, the first demonstration SAR and flight test, the first operational SAR system, the first operational SAR data link, the first 5-foot resolution operational SAR system, the first 1-foot resolution SAR system, and the first large scale SAR digital processor. The company has installed and flown over five hundred SAR systems on more than thirty different types of aircraft for numerous countries throughout the world. The company designed and produced all of the evolving high performance SAR systems for the U. S. Air Force SR-71 "Blackbird" spy plane throughout its entire operational history, spanning some twenty-nine years.
The Arizona plant produced a range of defense products in later years, including jet aircraft canopies, bulletproof glass and vehicular armor products, military shelters and missile transporters.
Goodyear Aerospace was sold to Loral Corporation in 1987 for $640 million following a massive restructuring of Goodyear prompted by the hostile takeover attempt by James Goldsmith and the Hanson Trust.
- Allen, Hugh. Goodyear Aircraft: A Story of Man and Industry, 1947.
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