Warbirds and Airshows
By David D Jackson

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WWII US Aircraft Modification Centers

Below is the listing of Aircraft Modification Centers that existed during WWII to modify aircraft after they came off the assembly lines.  While at first this may not seem to make sense and the sensible thing to do was build the aircraft to the current specification this was impossible under wartime conditions.  The issue came down to output.  If one stopped or slowed the assembly line to update an aircraft with the current modifications, changes, updates and new equipment and technology, very few aircraft would have been built for the war effort.  Actually when it was attempted early in the war to make running changes on the assembly line it was then not known what equipment and modifications were actually in each aircraft, which was totally unacceptable.  So two things were instituted.  First was the Block System.  Aircraft were built in "blocks' or groups of say twenty five aircraft.  Each one would be the same and there would be documentation as to what equipment was on the aircraft.  The larger the number of aircraft in the block the faster the line could run to take advantage of the economies of scale.

However, the aircraft would still not in many cases be up to date on required modifications needed for combat. So then the aircraft would be flown off to a modification center, if one was not at the aircraft assembly plant location.  There the aircraft in many cases would have as many hours spent on it being updated as were involved in the original manufacture.  While not the desired state, most cost effective or the most efficient manner of building the aircraft, it was the most expedient. 

There were 24 locations for the modification centers.  Information below comes from "The Modification of Army Aircraft in the United States, 1939-1945" and was provided by Chris Howlett.  Unless otherwise noted. aircraft were modified for the USAAF.

Atlanta, GA - Delta Airlines - B-34, C-45, C-54, P-38, P-51, A-25

Birmingham, AL - Betchel-McCone-Parsons Corp - B-24, C-87, C-109, B-29, F-5

Buffalo, NY - Curtiss-Wright Corp.- O-46, P-40, P-51, OA-10

Burbank, CA - Lockheed Aircraft Corp - F-5, P-51

Cheyenne, WY - United Airlines Transportation Corp. - F-9, B-17, OA-10

Daggett, CA - Douglas Aircraft Company - A-20, F-3, P-51

Dallas (Love Field), TX - Lockheed Aircraft Corp. - F-5, P-38, P-51, B-17, C-46

Denver, CO - Continental Airlines - B-17, P-51, B-29

Evansville, IN - Republic Aviation Corp. - P-47, P-51, P-39, P-61, A-35A, B-25, C-45, B-24

Kansas City, MO - Transcontinental & Western Airlines Inc. - B-25, P-51

Kansas City, KS - North American Aviation, Inc. - B-25

Long Beach - Douglas Aircraft - C-47, A-26, B-17

Louisville, KY - Consolidated-Vultee Aircraft Corp. - B-24, A-31

Marietta, GA - Bell Aircraft - B-29

Memphis, TN - Chicago & Southern Airlines - A-34(Britain), A-35(Britain), C-45, P-36(Peru), P-70

Nashville, TN - Consolidate-Vultee Aircraft Corp.- P-38, A-35(Britain)

Niagara, NY - Bell Aircraft Corp. - P-39, P-40, P-51, P-63, F-3, C-45, AT-11, OA-10

Oklahoma City, OK - Douglas Aircraft Company - C-47 for USAAF, Australia, Britain, Canada, New Zealand and France

Omaha, NE - Glenn L. Martin Co. - B-25 for USAAF, US Navy and China, F-7(B-34), (1,593) B-26 for USAAF and Britain, (893) B-24, (12) P-40, (188) Wichita, KS B-29, (236) Omaha B-29.  Starting 1-1-1945 only Omaha, NE B-29s were modified.  

Santa Monica, CA - Douglas Aircraft  Company - A-20 for USAAF, Russia and Brazil

St. Paul, MN - Northwest Airlines, Inc. - B-24, F-7(B-24), C-109

Tucson, AZ - Consolidated Vultee Aircraft Corp -.B-24 for USSAF and Britain, C-87, F-7(B-24) and P-51

Tulsa, OK - Douglas Aircraft Company - B-17, B-24, C-87 for USAAF and Britain, B-25, A-24, P-70, C-47

Vandalia, OH - Northwest Airlines, Inc. - AT-6

 

WWII Aircraft Manufacturing Sites-Home   Canada Aircraft  US Aircraft   US Cross Reference  US Airships  US Engines   USA Gliders   Propellers  Plant Photos  US WWII Aircraft Costs   WWII Aircraft Manufacturers' Literature   US Aircraft Assembly Plant Numbers   US Aircraft Modification Centers
 

 

 


 
Home  Indiana Museums    Indiana Tanks on Outside Display   The Beginning    Revisions   First Flight of P-38F Glacier Girl  
USS Theodore Roosevelt    WWII Aircraft Manufacturing Sites    Gateguards
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