Monday, October 7, 1963: Lear Jet

Bill Lear wasn't an aeronautical engineer when he started the Lear Jet project at age 61; he was an inventor and entrepreneur, having created the 8-track stereo, a variety of car radios, and the first jet autopilot.
     In the early 1960s, Lear saw the potential need for a small executive transport, and founded the Swiss American Aviation Corporation (SAAC) to produce the Learjet 23. The Learjet 23 was inspired by the FFA P-16, a proposed fighter jet for Switzerland designed by Hans-Luzius Studer. Production of the Learjet 23 began in Wichita, Kansas, in February 1962, and the first flight took place on October 7, 1963. The Learjet 23 revolutionized the business transport world and created a new market for fast and efficient small jet transports.
     -- From Museum of Flight (Seattle, Washington)
* "Learjet: A Brief History" (from Bombadier Inc., now the owner of Learjet): @
* "History of Learjet" (from jonathanstrickland.com): @
* "Lear Jet 23" (Flying magazine, 1978; from WilliamPLear.com): @
* Specifications (from airliners.net): @
* "The Lear Jet Turns 50 -- But It Almost Didn't Make It Off the Ground" (wired.com, 2013): @
* "Learjet Turns 50" (from Aviation International News): @
* Lear Jet 23 at Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum: @ 

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