Bombardier Learjet 85 Aircraft Is In Full Production
By Jim Douglas
May 13, 2012 - Bombardier Aerospace has made significant
progress on its all new Learjet 85 aircraft. Work on the
two first flight test aircraft and the complete aircraft
static test article is well underway, with the
production of hundreds of composite components,
including the unique 32-foot composite pressure
The Learjet 85 is the latest Learjet development program
by aircraft manufacturer Bombardier Aerospace. The
program was launched on October 30, 2007 and a mockup of
the aircraft was unveiled in October 2008 at the NBAA
show in Orlando.
The Learjet 85 fits between the midsize and the super midsize segments of the market. It will be the first Bombardier Aerospace jet to feature a composite structure and will be Learjet's first composite structure business jet designed for type certification under FAR-25.
The plane is expected to have a high-speed cruise of Mach 0.82 and a transcontinental range of up to 3,000 nautical miles (5,556 km).
The joining of the nose fuselage to
the main pressure fuselage, as well as the assembly of the
aft fuselage, vertical stabilizer and tailcone fuselage
sections, have all begun at the Bombardier sites in Wichita,
Kansas and Quer?taro, Mexico.
The first shipments of wing spars and skins,
manufactured at Bombardier's site in Belfast, Northern Ireland,
have arrived at the Quer?taro site, where wing assembly has
started. Additionally, major supplier components, such as the
aircraft's Pratt & Whitney Canada PW307B engines, are now on
site at the final assembly line in Wichita.
A ground breaking ceremony on April 30th
marked the official start of the next phase of the Learjet
Wichita site expansion plan, which includes building a new
production flight facility, paint facilities and a new delivery
center to support the Learjet 85 aircraft.
"We're entering an exciting phase of the
program," said Ralph Acs, Vice President and General Manager,
Learjet, Bombardier Business Aircraft. "Our sites are moving
full speed ahead and the production of the first flight test
aircraft is progressing very well. We have solid momentum in all
areas and it's great to see the focus and commitment of our
Bombardier employees and suppliers worldwide as we assemble our
first test aircraft and prepare for first flight."
Initial bird strike development testing on the Learjet 85 aircraft has
been successfully achieved, and over 85 per cent of the system supplier
safety of flight (SOF) test rigs have been commissioned.
The jet is powered by two Pratt & Whitney Canada PW307B engines, each
boasting 6,100 pounds of take-off thrust at sea level up to 86?F (30?C)
and low noise levels, while the advanced low NOx emitting combustor
offers reduced environmental impact. The aircraft targets a high-speed
cruise of Mach 0.82 and a transcontinental range of up to 3,000 nautical
miles (5,556 km).
The Learjet 85 aircraft flight deck combines advanced technology with
superior design elements for a cockpit environment unlike any other
midsize jet. The latest in technological advancements and superior
design aesthetics from Bombardier's Vision Flight Deck are carried over
in order to create the ultimate Learjet aircraft flight control
The aircraft's Cabin Management System, developed by Lufthansa Technik,
will feature a high-capacity Ethernet network, a digital amplifier to
feed the high-fidelity speaker system and an interface to support the
aircraft cabin environment, including lighting and temperature control.
The system's open architecture also allows for easy integration of
third-party equipment and new applications, such as high-definition
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