Viewing page 30 of 43

Into in 1915 Oliver Thomas became European Sales and Engineering Representative for the company with an office in Great Britain, which position he held until late 1917 when he resigned to become affiliated with the Dayton-right Aeroplane Company, Dayton, Ohio, as an aviation engineering consultant and advisor. There for the remainder of World War I he assisted with various programs, including the Kettering "BUG" aerial torpedo. In connection with that project Oliver designed and supervised the construction of a small one-man biplane, known as the "Messenger", to manually flight-test the "BUG" engine.
   During 1916 a Thomas Flying School graduate, Paul Wilson, was appointed as one of the firm's test pilots and contributed much to their development and product evaluation program through World War I and later. In July, 1916 announcement was made of a twin-engine experimental biplane battle plans of 78 foot wing span using two Thomas 135 np1 engines. The United States Army began buying Thomas planes and small trial orders were received from both the Navy and Signal Corps branches.
   In January, 1917 at Ithaea the Thomas Aircraft and engine divisions were merged into one firm, known as the Thomas-Morse Aircraft Corporation, through a connection with the Norse Chain Company. The flying school was continued, scores of American and Canadian students were trained, and the firm produced several new types of military aircraft, both experimentally and in production. These included trainers, pursuit and single seater scout planes with rotary engines. Best known, the Model S-4, or "Tommy" as it was popularly known, was produced in considerable quantities and in several succeeding model developments. Facilities were expanded, a portion of the Morse Chain Company plant was utilized and the former Thomas work force of about 100 grew to over 1,200 employees. 
   After the initial development of the Liberty engine, the Thomas engine venture was dropped  and full efforts were applied to aircraft only. As soon as a Liberty engine was available the firm built an experimental high wing monoplane pursuit plane known as the MB-1 which was not successful, however it started the Thomas-Morse MB series to follow, with Hispano and Curtiss D-12 engines. The MB-3 model with Hispano engine was a highly successful plane and was ordered in quantities by the Air Service. It developed into  one of the fastest and most notable American pursuit plane of
Please note that the language and terminology used in this collection reflects the context and culture of the time of its creation, and may include culturally sensitive information. As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology. The information within this collection does not reflect the views of the Smithsonian Institution, but is available in its original form to facilitate research. For questions or comments regarding sensitive content, access, and use related to this collection, please contact