Further strengthening its relationship with avionics maker Rockwell Collins, Bombardier has selected the Pro Line Fusion cockpit for its composite Learjet 85 midsize jet. The announcement marks the second selection by Bombardier of the Fusion suite after the Canadian company chose the avionics as the centerpiece for its so-called Global Vision cockpit last fall. That system will replace the Honeywell Primus 2000XP avionics in the Global Express XRS and Global 5000 starting in 2011.
Bombardier’s pick of Pro Line Fusion for its newest Learjet follows a string of contract wins for the Collins system this year, which includes selections by Cessna for the Citation Columbus and Embraer for the MLJ and MSJ. Pro Line Fusion’s primary market rival, the Honeywell Primus Epic system, has achieved one major contract win so far this year with Gulfstream’s selection of the suite for the G650.
The Gulfstream cockpit, called Plane-View, is notable for being the first in a production business jet to include synthetic vision, a technology that presents a computer-generated view of the world ahead of the aircraft on the flight displays. Collins says Fusion will incorporate synthetic-vision cues, too, along with infrared enhanced vision merged (or in Collins parlance, “fused”) with the artificial scene. The Fusion cockpit will also boast the largest available active-matrix liquid-crystal displays in a business jet, measuring 15 inches diagonal, as well as a number of advanced navigation, communication and surveillance technologies.
The Learjet 85 will fill a niche between Bombardier’s Learjet 60XR and Challenger 300. Grob Aerospace will design the jet’s composite structure and build the first three prototypes. Performance targets include a Mach 0.82 high-speed cruise, NBAA IFR range (with 100-nm alternate) of 3,000 nm and plenty of interior space to allow an eight-seat double-club configuration in the 71-inch-high, 675-cu-ft cabin. Grob will build the prototypes at its facility in Tussenhausen-Mattsies, Germany, where it is also building the SPn composite business twinjet. First flight for the Learjet 85 will take place in Germany with Bombardier test pilots, who will then ferry the airplane to Bombardier’s flight test center in Wichita, Kansas. Final assembly, completion and delivery of Learjet 85s will be done in Wichita.