Bombardier: Learjet 85 Design Mature, Plans on Track

 - February 26, 2009, 11:02 AM

Bombardier shared an update on the Learjet 85 program with customers today, revealing that the program remains on schedule for service entry in 2013 and that the design is “mature” and has entered the technology readiness phase. Subscale test articles for the all-composite airframe are being laid up, said David Coleal, Learjet vice president and general manager. Learjet has partnered with the National Institute for Aviation Research at Wichita State University to help with material and structural testing and certification, replacing bankrupt Grob Aerospace, which had earlier been tapped for that work. Coleal also said the Learjet 85 will use Cox’s electro-mechanical expulsion de-icing system on the horizontal stabilizer leading edge and traditional bleed-air heat on the wings, similar to the system employed on Hawker Beechcraft’s Premier IA and Hawker 4000, although the latter airplanes don’t have composite wings. A vacuum toilet was added to satisfy customer requests. “Obviously there was a bump in the road with Grob,” Coleal said. “This program is moving ahead full speed.”