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Archives at The Museum of Flight

Swiss American Aviation Corporation


Historical Note

The Swiss American Aviation Corporation built the SAAC-23, a private jet designed specifically for corporate flight. Its design was influenced by the FFA P-16 aircraft.

SAAC was founded by William P. Lear in early-mid April 1960 and was based in St. Gallen, Switzerland. In 1962 WPL named Buzz Nanney, previously a security consultant for Lear, Inc., as General Manager of SAAC. Due to a variety of issues, the company was relocated to Wichita, Kansas in August 1962. At the same time, SAAC changed its name to Lear Jet Corporation with the SAAC-23 renamed as the Lear Jet Model 23.

SAAC affiliate company Aviation Development, Inc. was also established by WPL and contributed in the design, engineering, supervision of manufacturing of the SAAC-23. The company was under the direction of Hans Studer.

Found in 2 Collections and/or Records:

Series IV. Swiss American Aviation Corporation, 1956-1965, 2000, undated

Scope and Contents: Swiss American Aviation Corporation Series IV: Swiss American Aviation Corporation (SAAC) is a fairly small series that documents WPL’s early efforts at an executive transport and private corporate aircraft, originally named the SAAC-23 although it would eventually become the Learjet Model 23. Some early concept and logistical materials present in the series pre-date the official 1960 start of the company, but most fall within SAAC’s 1960-1962 time period. Note that some materials related to SAAC...

Series V. Lear Jet Corporation, 1960-1974, 1984-1989, 1991-1992, 1999, undated

Scope and Contents: Lear Jet Corporation Series V: Lear Jet Corporation (LJC) primarily documents the development, production, and distribution of the Learjet Model 23 and Model 24, small and fast executive transport jets, with a lesser degree of coverage about the Lear Liner Model 40. Additionally there is a relatively small amount of information about LJC’s Stereo 8 Division, which designed, developed, and produced the 8-track audio tape cassette player for home, automobile, and personal use. The bulk...

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