100 Years of Aviation, Aerospace & Defense Manufacturing Design-Build

In 1916, The Austin Company began design and construction of its first of many aircraft assembly plants — the Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company plant in Buffalo, New York. This was just the beginning of a long list of innovative and successfully designed and constructed aircraft facilities — complex facilities often completed on a fast-track basis.

Austin’s many innovations along the way contributed to the success of our clients by enabling them to operate in more efficient environments, optimize the flexibility of their operations, and meet aggressive schedules. Austin architects, engineers and constructors devised many innovations for the aviation sector since its inception, such as bi-fold hangar doors, fiberglass wall panels for WWII bomber plants, induced airflows to improve ventilation, rolling work platforms, and more.

It is a proud history. We like to say that Austin has aviation in our DNA. While Samuel Austin was our founder and established high standards of ethics, values and quality in our work, his son Wilbert was the innovator and visionary for aviation. Tragically, Wilbert died in a plane crash in Chicago in 1940, but by then, the DNA was well established.

Austin has held a formative role in this dynamic and ever-changing industry: airplanes, airports, engines, hangars, flight kitchens, cargo facilities, rockets, satellites. We have created these facilities in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Italy, Australia, Greece, UK, Japan, and other locations.

In 100 years, manned flight has evolved from single engine bi-planes to supersonic travel, satellites and space tourism. Design and construction has gone from pencils, linen and slide rules to lasers, GPS and integrated software platforms. Some things remain constant, however; a passion for this industry, an excitement toward how this market inspires and challenges us to innovate and achieve higher goals, and an appreciation of how this market drives us to technical excellence. This is where the DNA shows up and it carries over into every market and industry we serve.

This historical timeline highlights some of the many aviation and aerospace projects Austin has completed over the past 100 years. It is a proud legacy that we carry on in our daily work.

Click on the image to download the interactive infographic.

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