Bombardier Green-lights Learjet NXT Project

 - October 30, 2007, 11:13 AM

Bombardier Aerospace this morning launched the clean-sheet Learjet NXT to fill the gap between its midsize $13.3 million Learjet 60XR and $21 million super-midsize Challenger 300. According to company president and COO Pierre Beaudoin, the 10-seat, stand-up-cabin Learjet NXT will “redefine the midsize jet category and set the standard against which all competitive aircraft will be measured.” Bombardier is working on the twinjet “with a group of international collaborators,” though a spokeswoman said “most of the principal [NXT] activities will take place at Learjet’s facility in Wichita, including final assembly, interior completions, aircraft delivery, contracts, sales and flight test.” No suppliers have yet been named, nor has the company revealed whether the NXT will be an aluminum or composite airplane. A “public unveiling” of the new Learjet is scheduled for next October, but the company has not released other program timelines. Preliminary performance data includes a Mach 0.82 max cruise speed and 3,000-nm range. Bombardier started offering the Learjet NXT to customers last month, and to date it has received letters of intent for more than 65 airplanes.