Our History

W.G. Skelly with airplane - Spartan College

1928

Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology was founded in Tulsa, Oklahoma as Spartan School of Aeronautics by W.G. Skelly, President of Skelly Oil Company, on September 27, 1928. He established Spartan Aircraft Company and formed the corporation which built Tulsa Municipal Airport (now called Tulsa International Airport). Mr. Skelly was convinced that air transportation would come of age and bring with it a need for skilled aircraft technicians and pilots; therefore, Spartan School of Aeronautics offered both mechanic and flight courses.

Spartan Students waiting to go flying

1942

The Spartan School name became known on a national and international level. People came from all over the world to train at Spartan School of Aeronautics. During World War II and the Korean War, Spartan School of Aeronautics trained pilots and mechanics for our armed forces and allied forces, including the British Royal Air Force, while continuing expansion in the civil aviation field. Much of the credit for this period of expansion goes to J. Paul Getty, who acquired Spartan School of Aeronautics from Skelly in 1942.

1942

In 1942, Northrop Aeronautical Institute was founded by John K. Northrop (founder of Northrop Aircraft Company) and James L. McKinley (aviation educator and author of several aeronautical textbooks) to train allied military personnel in maintaining aircraft during WWII. After the war, the two schools merged and the campus was relocated to Inglewood, CA. In 1959, the name was changed to Northrop Institute of Technology and then again in 1975 to Northrop University. In 1991, Dr. James W. Rice and Mrs. Mary Alice Rice, founders of Rice Aviation which had schools across the nation, acquired the Inglewood campus. This group of schools was considered to be the largest system of aircraft maintenance schools in the United States at that time under the name of Northrop Rice Aviation Institute of Technology (NRAIT).

Spartan Aircraft - Vintage photo

1944

In 1944, Mr. Getty formed Spartan Airlines, Inc. In 1945, Spartan School trained TWA pilots in instrument training and between 1945 and 1950, Spartan School of Aeronautics trained G.I. Bill students and United States Air Force mechanics. The aircraft company was involved in Cold War production. The ownership of Spartan School was maintained by Getty until 1968 when it was purchased by Automation Industries, Inc.

Crimson Graduation Class 1982

1970's - 1990's

In the 70s and 80s, Spartan School of Aeronautics trained pilots and mechanics for airlines and countries including EVA Airlines based in Taiwan, Civil Air Defense Command for the United Arab Emirates and in the 90s pilots for Chinese airlines. In 1996, Spartan School of Aeronautics was awarded a five-year contract to train technicians for the United States Coast Guard.

2004

In 2004, Spartan School of Aeronautics changed its name to Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology.

2012

In December 2012, the College was acquired by Spartan Education Group, LLC (SEG).

2014

In 2014, Spartan Education Group, LLC acquired Crimson Technical College in Inglewood, CA, which is in the Los Angeles area near Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). This location is separately approved from the Tulsa, OK location. The history of Crimson Technical College can be traced back to the late 1930s when California Flyers, Inc. School of Aeronautics was located at Mines Field which is now Los Angeles International Airport.

2014

In 2014, Spartan Education Group, LLC acquired Crimson Technical College, and in 2015, the College changed its name to Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology.

Spartan College airplane - Inland Empire area campus

2015

In 2015, Spartan College, Inglewood, California, opened a branch campus located in Riverside, California, which is in an area known as Inland Empire. The campus is located on the historic Flabob Airport.

2016

In 2016, Spartan Education Group, LLC acquired Redstone College located in Broomfield, Colorado near Denver. This location is separately approved from the Oklahoma and California locations. The Broomfield Campus was founded in 1965 as Colorado Aero Tech to offer airframe and powerplant training, and in 1989 expanded its curriculum to include avionics training. In 2000, the name changed to Westwood College of Aviation Technology. In 2006, Westwood College of Aviation Technology changed its name to Redstone College. After the acquisition by Spartan Education Group, LLC in 2016, the name was changed to Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology in 2017.

2019

In 2019, Spartan Education Group, LLC acquired McAir Aviation located in Broomfield, CO at the Rocky Mountain Airport. This location is separately approved and not accredited.

As a system, Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology has trained more than 100,000 technicians and pilots since 1928. Spartan College is truly proud of its continuing contribution to aviation and related industries.

The Spartan College Black Cat symbol with the 13 signifies that “Knowledge and Skill Overcome Superstition and Luck”. The Black Cat was the original insignia of the Spartan College Dawn Patrol; its origin is an integral part of Spartan College’s history going back to 1929. Spartan College’s Dawn Patrol was promoted as an exclusive international body. The flight program located in Tulsa, OK provided cross country and formation flying training. The spirit that led to the formation of the Dawn Patrol was first evidenced by a group that called themselves the “Three Blind Mice.”

Spartan College Black Cat