Grob-Bombardier Strange Bedfellows on Learjet 85
Eyebrows elevated when Grob was named earlier this year as the single source for the Bombardier Learjet 85’s entire primary and secondary composite structures. That’s because Zurich, Switzerland-based Grob is also developing its own all-composite light jet, the SPn, which could potentially compete with Bombardier’s Learjet 40XR. Not so, says Bombardier Learjet vice president of sales Mike Fahey. “The SPn is not a Learjet competitor; it is more a King Air-type airplane,” he told AIN at EBACE. However, by the numbers the $6.9 million Grob light jet is a formidable alternative to the $9.26 million Learjet 40XR. NBAA IFR range of the 10-seat SPn is 1,851 nm, versus 1,601 nm for the nine-seat 40XR. While Grob’s jet has a roomier cabin, the 40XR has a speed advantage, with a high-speed cruise of 452 knots versus the SPn’s 415 knots. “The SPn is going to be a wonderful airplane, and the partnership between Grob and Bombardier on the Learjet 85 should produce a fantastic airplane,” J. Mesinger Corporate Jet Sales CEO Jay Mesinger told AIN. “But the SPn definitely competes with the 40XR. Everything competes with everything else in this business.