Wright-Martin Aircraft Corporation
Founded1916 (1916)
Defunct1919 (1919)
FateReformed as Wright Aeronautical in 1919
SuccessorWright Aeronautical
United States
Key people
  • Wright Company
  • Glenn L. Martin Company
  • Simplex Automobile Company
  • Wright Flying Field, Inc.
  • General Aeronautic Company of America, Inc.
Footnotes / references
Wright-Martin Model V
Wright-Martin Model V
Wright-Martin Model V
Wright-Martin Model V

Wright-Martin Aircraft Corporation was a short-lived aircraft manufacturing business venture between the Wright Company (after Orville Wright sold the Wright Company and divested himself from it) and Glenn L. Martin.


Company officials merged their respective organizations, the Wright Company and the Glenn L. Martin Company, in 1916.

The company continued and escalated the Wright brothers patent war with other aircraft manufacturers, until its resolution—under duress from the government, in 1917, at the start of U.S. involvement in World War I—by the cross-licensing agreement developed and managed through the Manufacturers Aircraft Association.[3]

A license-built version of the Hispano-Suiza 8 was manufactured by the company under the engineering leadership of Henry M. Crane. It was used by Vought VE-7, VE-8, Boeing NB-2, and Loening M-8.

By 1918, the company had a factory in Long Island City.[4]

Martin soon resigned, dissolving the Wright-Martin joint enterprise within a year. The company was renamed Wright Aeronautical in 1919, and shifted from manufacturing aircraft to manufacturing aircraft engines, developing the pivotal Wright Whirlwind engines which changed aviation dramatically.[3]

Glenn Martin continued development of his Glenn L. Martin Company, which remained a major aircraft manufacturer until the 1950s and early 1960s when it also began developing rockets, missiles, and spacecraft. In 1961 the company merged with the American-Marietta Corporation to become industrial conglomerate (and continued aerospace manufacturer) Martin-Marietta which, in 1995, merged with Lockheed to become today's Lockheed-Martin, one of the United States' three remaining major large aircraft manufacturers (along with Boeing and Northrop-Grumman).[5][6]


Model name First flight Number built Type
Wright-Martin Model R 14[7] Single engine biplane reconnaissance airplane
Wright-Martin Model V 1[7] Single engine biplane reconnaissance airplane


  1. ^ The Story of the Aeroplane. Wright-Martin Aircraft Corporation. 1917. Retrieved 25 July 2021.
  2. ^ "Wright-Martin Aircraft Corp". Aviation and Aeronautical Engineering. Vol. 1, no. 8. 15 November 1916. pp. 240–241. Retrieved 9 September 2021.
  3. ^ a b Roland, Alex (foreword by Jimmy Doolittle), Chapter 2: "War Business: A Laboratory and Licensing; Committees and Engines, 1915-1918", in Model Research - Volume 1, SP-4103 National Aeronautics and Space Administration, retrieved December 4, 2017
  4. ^ "Development of the Wright-Martin Company". Aerial Age Weekly. Vol. 8, no. 6. Aerial Age Company. 21 October 1918. p. 305. Retrieved 13 July 2021.
  5. ^ Harwood, William B., book: [Raise Heaven and Earth: The Story of Martin Marietta], Simon & Schuster; (1993)
  6. ^ "The Founding of Lockheed Martin". Lockheed Martin. 28 March 2018. Retrieved 26 July 2021.
  7. ^ a b Eckland, K. O. (7 October 2008). "Wright, Wright-Bellanca, Wright-Martin". Aerofiles. Retrieved 25 July 2021.