Towards CASA’s own projects:
from the 1940s till the late 1960s
Interest in aviation was now fully ingrained in Spain. With José Ortiz-Echagüe as leader and driving force, the industry, which had suffered from the Civil War (1936 – 1939), was able to recover. An Air Ministry was created in August 1939, and the Spanish Air Force established in October of the same year. Furthermore, from 1941 onwards, the Spanish aeronautical industry as a whole was to be reorganized, with the Spanish government to hold one-third of the share capital of the reshaped companies. In 1943, CASA had a share capital of 45 million pesetas, of which 15 million belonged to the Spanish government through the National Institute for Industry - INI (Instituto Nacional de Industria).
CASA 2111 Heinkel He-111
In September 1941, as per the licensing agreement that CASA held with Junkers since 1929-1930 and which had been renewed in 1938, the Air Ministry ordered 100 Junkers Ju-52 for the Spanish Air Force. Eventually, 170 Ju-52/3m were to be produced at the reconstructed and expanded Getafe plant, under the designation CASA C-352. The first of these took to the air in June 1944. Another new plant was inaugurated in Tablada (Seville) in 1942 for the production of the Heinkel He-111H (CASA designation: C-2.111), of which 200 were produced, while the Cadiz plant specialised in the production of Bücker the Bü-131 (some 555 aircraft) and Bu-133, as well as the Gotha Go-145 (25 built in Spain).
C-202A 1959. Getafe
First Airbus A300
Building on its experience and foreseeing the need to develop its own products, CASA established its own Design Office in 1946. Several projects were considered, of which three were eventually retained and subsequently materialised. The first of the three was the C-201 Alcotán, the second the C-202 Halcón, and the third the C-207 Azor. All three were twin-engined multipurpose transport aircraft which could be used as cargo and passenger transport, but with other possibilities such as sanitary evacuation or training. The Alcotán was flown in 1949, the Halcón took to the air in 1952, and the Azor in 1955. The Alcotán, of which only two prototypes and an experimental series of 12 aircraft were produced, and the Halcón, with two prototypes, failed to enter series production, due to insurmountable problems with the engine type chosen for both. The Azor was more successful. Two prototypes and 20 series aircraft, all using Bristol Hercules engines, were produced. The type was the only one produced by CASA at the time to eventually enter service with the Spanish Air Force. Despite their limited success, these projects gave CASA the reputation of a knowledgeable aircraft manufacturer, recognised for its expertise, quality, capacity and resources.