In the Works: Bombardier Learjet 85

 - July 8, 2008, 6:28 AM

Bombardier has chosen its facility in Querétaro, Mexico, to manufacture the composite structure for the Learjet 85. This facility, which began operations in 2006, already manufactures wiring harnesses and structural components for other Bombardier aircraft.

As with its other airplanes, Bombardier is responsible for design and certification of the Learjet 85 and is partnering with other companies for certain components and processes and with its own subsidiaries to manufacture the aircraft, according to David Coleal, vice president and general manager for the Learjet product line. One strategic partner, for example, is Grob Aerospace, which is helping design the wing, fuselage and empennage and will also manufacture structural components for the flight test and initial production airframes. Production processes developed by Grob will later be transferred to Bombardier’s Querétaro facility.

After Querétaro is up and running on composites manufacturing, the wings, fuselage and empennage will be shipped to Bombardier in Wichita, for final assembly and completion. “It’s the same process as [for] the Challenger 300,” Coleal said, “a culmination of different parts,” meaning that Bombardier either builds all the components using its own factories around the world or (as with the Learjet 40/45 empennage built in Taiwan) using capabilities of other vendors, then assembles the finished airplane in Wichita or Montreal.

The Learjet 85 will be the first composite business jet certified to FAA Part 25 standards. Bombardier also announced that it selected Pratt & Whitney Canada’s PW307B turbofan to power the Learjet 85 and long-lasting brushless starter/generators by Innovative Power Solutions. Entry into service is scheduled for the 2012/2013 timeframe, with Bombardier’s Flexjet fractional share operation scheduled for early deliveries.