Gates Learjet Corp
Swiss American Aviation Corporation
Gates Learjet Corporation
William P. Lear founded the Swiss American Aviation Corporation in 1960 to build a twin-jet executive aircraft, originally designated SAAC-23. Tooling was completed in Europe but moved to Wichita, Kansas, in 1962, when the company became known as Lear Jet Corporation. By 1964 all work had been transferred to USA. In 1967, Bill Lear sold his 60 percent interest in the company to Gates Rubber Corporation, and in 1970 the name was changed to Gates Learjet Corporation. Became Learjet Inc. in 1987.
Lear Jet Inc becoming a division of Bombardier in 1990, offering the 11-seat light Learjet 31A (first flown May 1987), 11 -seat mid-size Learjet 45 (first flown October 1995), and 12-seat transcontinental Learjet 60 (first flown October 1990).