Learjet 85 Makes Long-awaited Maiden Flight
The Bombardier Learjet 85 successfully completed its maiden flight yesterday, marking the beginning of the all-composite midsize jet’s flight-test program. Flight-test vehicle one (FTV1) lifted off from Wichita Mid Continent International Airport yesterday at 8:19 a.m. CST.
At the controls of the fly-by-wire jet during the two-hour 15-minute flight were Bombardier Flight Test Center chief flight-test pilot Ed Grabman and copilot Jim Dwyer, with flight-test engineer Nick Weyers in the cabin monitoring data. They took the Learjet 85 to 30,000 feet and 250 knots during the flight, reporting that all flight controls were exercised and performance was as anticipated.
“Today marks a significant accomplishment for the Learjet 85 team. The aircraft performed very well, and I would like to congratulate all the employees who have played a role in achieving FTV1’s maiden flight,” said Learjet 85 vice president and general manager Ralph Acs.
The first flight is four months behind a revised schedule announced last year. Certification was originally pegged for the middle of this year but now awaits announcement of Bombardier’s newly revised schedule. Knowledgeable sources have told AIN that certifying the Learjet 85 could take up to two years from first flight.