Famed designer Mark Birkigt was from Switzerland, but his aircraft engines were built elsewhere. Hispano-Suiza engines were built in company factories in France and Spain, but also under license in England and the United States. In 1916, the Wright-Martin Corporation was formed in New Brunswick, New Jersey in order to begin quantity production of the 112 kW (150 shp) Hispano-Suiza Model A engine ordered by the French government. Over time, among the additional Hispano-Suiza engine models developed were the 134 kW (180 shp) Model E and the more powerful Model H.
In 1919, Wright-Martin became the Wright Aeronautical Corporation. Improvements in the Model H were made by Wright Aeronautical, raising its output as high as 280 kW (375 shp). The engine was then designated H-3. In 1922, the H-3 was considered the lightest and most efficient pursuit engine in the world.