Ed (Edward J.) Swearingen set up Swearingen Aircraft Co. as fixed-base operator at San Antonio 1953, and among other things built prototypes under contract (e.g. Piper Comanche, 24 May 1956). By 1960 had large business modifying aircraft to improve performance (e.g. Beech D50 rebuilt as Excalibur). Original designs began with Merlin IIA (13 April 1965), combining new fuselage with Queen Air wing. Twin Bonanza landing gear and PT6A turboprops. This led to many derived Merlins and Metros, sales passing 500 by 1982. But in November 1971 Fairchild took over, buying 90% of stock and forming new subsidiary called Swearingen Aviation Corp. Predictably in 1981 this vanished, to be renamed Fairchild Aircraft Corp.: see Fairchild. See also Swearingen Aircraft Corp.