North American Aviation

North American Aviation logo

North American Aviation was a US aircraft and aerospace company, founded in 1928, that played a central role in the early American space program. It was responsible for the development of the X-15 rocket plane and, through its Rocketdyne Division, the propulsion system for the Redstone rocket, the Apollo Command and Service Modules, the second stage of the Saturn V, and the F-1 and J-2 rocket engines. Earlier, North American Aviation had provided some of the best-known combat planes of World War II and the postwar years, including the F-51 Mustang, the B-25 Mitchell bomber, and the F-86 Sabre. In 1966, North American Aviation merged with Rockwell Standard to form North American Rockwell, which, in 1976, was renamed Rockwell International. In 1996, Rockwell became part of Boeing.