First there were none, now suddenly there are four companies here that announced their intention to develop a reduced vertical separation minimum (RVSM) STC package for the Learjet 20 series. All four companies propose to achieve the approval using the airplane’s original JET autopilot, and all four estimate the price to be under $150,000.
Joining Avcon Industries and Spirit Wing (see NBAA Convention News, Wednesday, September 11, page 12) is LSJC (Booth No. 4871), a one-year-old engineering and certification consulting company based in Wichita and comprised of ex-Bombardier employees, and Bizjet International of Tulsa, Okla. (Booth No. 2141).
Just yesterday Bizjet announced it recently completed the first test flights of a modified Learjet 25 and expects to gain a group STC early next year.
LSJC, meanwhile, is teaming up with Aeromech to offer a program that it hopes will see an RVSM STC for Learjet 24/25s awarded by mid-next year. In reference to using the business jet’s original autopilot, LSJC cofounder Woody Cottner told NBAA Convention News, “We have already come up with a solution.” For competitive reasons, Cottner preferred not to elaborate.
The company is not requiring a minimum number of orders to get started. About half the respondents to a customer survey the company conducted indicated they would get RVSM approval if they could do it for under $150,000.
Even if only one of the three programs is successful, operators of the more than 500 Learjet 24s and 25s still operating worldwide will have an RVSM option at a relatively reasonable price. While RVSM will increase the value of the series, an engine mod or Stage 3 hush kits could extend aircraft useful life.