Soaring With the Schweizers - The Fifty-Year History of Their Aviation Adventures
Author:  William Schweizer

Hard cover book, 244 pages (not including appendices), dozens of excellent black and white photos
Dimensions: 6.125 x 9.25 inches (156 x 235 mm), Released in 1991

No Longer Available

Three boys named Schweizer launched a glider in New York State in 1930 – and with it a revolution in American aviation. William “Bill” Schweizer tells the story of this remarkable brotherhood and the company it built: The Schweizer Aircraft Corporation (SAC), the only family owned aviation company to survive the past half century intact.  From the greatest American sailplanes  - the silent high riders of the wind - to crop dusters, helicopters, and secret surveillance aircraft, the history of SAC is unique in scope, ingenuity, and independence.  In this sky-splitting book that spans the age of Lindbergh to the era of the stealth Bill Schweizer takes readers on a flight from the past to the blue beyond.

About the Author (as of 1991)
William "Bill" Schweizer was only 12 years old in 1930 when he and his teenage brothers, Earnest and Paul A., built their first glider - launched by elastic cords to carry Ernie airborne for a grand total of 40 feet.  Trained as an industrial engineer, Bill took the lead in developing the Schweizer Aircraft Corporation's manufacturing organization and helped steer it through changes in products, technologies, and markets far beyond gliders.  A dedicated father to a sports-minded family of four children, Bill Schweizer and his wife, Peggy, have enjoyed soaring, skiing, traveling, tennis, golf, and community service.  Still an enthusiastic pilot, Bill Schweizer was in 1985 elected to the United States Soaring Hall of Fame.

You can see details on the current company here: 
The company was acquired by Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation in 2004.


  • Jack Real - Former President of Hughes Helicopters, Inc.
    "In the Schweizer story we see the real essence of Yankee ingenuity: the consistent application of high moral and ethical values perfected in the crucible of the marketplace."
  • W.T. Piper, Jr. - Former Chairman and President of Piper Aircraft Corp.
    "Most enjoyable reading about aviation history."
  • Paul Remde - Cumulus Soaring, Inc.
    "As a mechanical engineer with an MBA and former owner of a Schweizer 1-35c sailplane I found this book to be very interesting.  It is amazing how well the Schweizer brothers did at finding work to keep their company going so they could afford to make gliders.  OK, that is in understatement - they made thousands of gliders over many decades that were used to train glider pilots around the world.  I found the book to be more interesting as a study of the business than as a glider pilot's favorite book.  I wish there were more details on the subtleties of the gliders they built and the feats achieved in them, but I really liked the book."

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Soaring With the Schweizers

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Tags: book, Schweizer, Bill Schweizer