Bombardier Builds First Learjet 85 Validation Fuselage
Bombardier Aerospace yesterday reached another milestone in its Learjet 85 program, having successfully built the first all-composite manufacturing validation unit (MVU) for the aircraft’s pressure vessel. It was built by the Learjet 85 structural design team in Montreal using production tooling, along with “strong support” from the program team based in Mexico. All primary structural components of the all-composite Learjet 85 will be made in Querétaro, Mexico, about 130 miles north of Mexico City. The MVU will be used to validate the design concepts, manufacturing processes and quality as the program advances toward production start, which is scheduled for later this year. “Our next step will be to apply what we learn from this first manufacturing validation unit to the second unit to confirm our technology readiness,” said Bombardier Business Aircraft Learjet 85 vice president Ralph Acs. According to Bombardier, the production tooling is now being transferred to its permanent home in Querétaro, where a second MVU will be built. The first tooling is scheduled for installation at Querétaro this month and the first production part will be built soon afterwards. The Learjet 85 program is “on schedule” for entry into service in 2013, Bombardier said.