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Chance Vought/LTV History

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Chance Vought Archive

The early history of Vought Aeronautics is in part the biography of its founder - Chance Milton Vought, pioneer pilot, aeronautical engineer, and aircraft manufacturer whose company bore his name.

Chauncey Milton Vought (As a young man he signed himself as C. Milton Vought and then C. M. Vought before deciding on Chance) was born February 26, 1890, in New York City to the well-to-do and socially accepted Vought family, known and respected for design and production of quality sailing and power boats.

Chance Vought's early education was in the New York City public school system. Upon graduation, he entered the Pratt Institute of Brooklyn, but transferred to New York University and later to the University of Pennsylvania in search of the best engineering courses.

In 1910, he left school and was hired by Harold F. McCormick of McCormick Reapers. Working in the Chicago office, Chance Vought soon became head of the Experimental Development Department. During his stay with McCormick, Chance Vought's keen interest in aviation grew even greater as McCormick was one of early aviation's enthusiastic supporters.

In 1911, the Lillie Aviation Company opened a flying school at nearby Cicero Field. One of their first students was Chance Vought who learned to fly at the controls of a Wright Brothers "Vin Fiz" biplane. Upon graduation, in August 1912, he received FAI License No. 156.
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