Bombardier Drops Grob from Learjet 85 Program

 - September 18, 2008, 12:36 PM

Bombardier has terminated its contract with Grob Aerospace AG of Switzerland to develop the composite structure for the Learjet 85. Grob’s German affiliate filed for insolvency on August 18. In a statement released this afternoon, Steve Ridolfi, president of Bombardier Business Aircraft, said, “Given the uncertainty surrounding Grob’s insolvency, Learjet has decided to terminate its agreement with Grob Aerospace, effective Sept. 17, 2008. Bombardier Aerospace is taking decisive action and this decision reflects our strong commitment to both the Learjet 85 aircraft program and to a growing number of leading business jet customers worldwide who have selected this exciting, all-new midsize business jet.” Grob Aerospace GmbH filed for insolvency in Germany on August 18 after its main source of capital withdrew financial support for Grob’s new SPn light business jet program. Grob CEO Niall Olver said that the undisclosed investor had pulled out due to delays in the SPn certification program and resulting increases in the amount of money required to get the aircraft into service. Bombardier said it is assuming complete responsibility for the detail design and manufacturing of all primary and secondary structures for the eight-passenger Learjet 85. Grob issued the following statement reacting to Bombardier’s decision, “While this outcome is regrettable, it is a matter of fact that Bombardier needs to take whatever measures it deems necessary to protect the timeline of the program. The parties have agreed to cooperate and to jointly remove the Bombardier program from the Tussenhausen-Mattsies facility.”