Grob-Bombardier Strange Bedfellows on Learjet 85

 - May 21, 2008, 7:42 AM

Eyebrows elevated when Grob was named earlier this year as the single source for the Bombardier Learjet 85’s entire primary and secondary composite structures. That’s because Zurich, Switzerland-based Grob is also developing its own all-composite light jet, the SPn, which could potentially compete with Bombardier’s Learjet 40XR. Not so, says Bombardier Learjet vice president of sales Mike Fahey. “The SPn is not a Learjet competitor; it is more a King Air-type airplane,” he told AIN at EBACE. However, by the numbers the $6.9 million Grob light jet is a formidable alternative to the $9.26 million Learjet 40XR. NBAA IFR range of the 10-seat SPn is 1,851 nm, versus 1,601 nm for the nine-seat 40XR. While Grob’s jet has a roomier cabin, the 40XR has a speed advantage, with a high-speed cruise of 452 knots versus the SPn’s 415 knots. “The SPn is going to be a wonderful airplane, and the partnership between Grob and Bombardier on the Learjet 85 should produce a fantastic airplane,” J. Mesinger Corporate Jet Sales CEO Jay Mesinger told AIN. “But the SPn definitely competes with the 40XR. Everything competes with everything else in this business.