Ryan Aeronautical was established by T. Claude Ryan, born in Kansas in 1898 and raised in Southern California from a young
age. He developed a fascination with aviation early on, and enrolled in the American College of Aviation in Los Angeles at
age nineteen. Ryan was then trained as an Army cadet and served briefly as a pilot for the U.S. Forest Patrol, but soon left
to establish Ryan Flying School in San Diego, which also served to give visitors a birds-eye view of San Diego. With a partner,
B. F. Mahoney, he also established Ryan Airlines, which he eventually sold to Mahoney. It was Ryan Airlines that built Lindbergh’s
famous Spirit of St. Louis. Ryan Airlines also was the first to offer regular service to and from San Diego.
Later, Ryan established a flight school and Ryan Aeronautical Company. The company played an important role in American aviation
and in San Diego’s history overall. With aircraft such as the Navion, VTOL jets, military trainers, X-13, and XFR-1, Ryan
Aeronautical Company solidified its reputation as a leader in aircraft manufacturing for military, private and commercial
uses. They also are known for the creation of the Firebee drone. Ryan aeronautical was the most significant developer of
UAVs in the world from 1950s through the 1990s.
Teledyne acquired Ryan Aeronautical Company in 1968, becoming Teledyne-Ryan Company. In 1996, Teledyne-Ryan merged with Allegheny-Ludlum
Corporation and then with Northrop Grumman Corporation in 1999.