Learjet 85 Program Flying Along

 - May 13, 2012, 1:35 PM

Bombardier Aerospace has made “significant progress” on its Learjet 85 program, it announced just before EBACE. Work on the two first flight-test aircraft and the complete aircraft static test article is well under way, the company said, with the production of hundreds of composite components, including the 32-foot composite fuselage.

The joining of the nose fuselage to the main pressure fuselage, as well as the assembly of the aft fuselage, vertical stabilizer and tailcone fuselage sections, have all begun at Bombardier’s facilities in Wichita and Queretaro, Mexico. First shipments of wing spars and skins from Bombardier’s Belfast, Northern Ireland site have arrived at Queretaro, where wing assembly has started. In addition, major supplier components, such as the midsize jet’s Pratt & Whitney Canada PW307B engines, are now on the final assembly line in Wichita.

“We’re entering an exciting phase of the program,” said Bombardier Business Aircraft vice president and general manager for Learjet Ralph Acs. “Our sites are moving full speed ahead and the production of the first flight-test aircraft is progressing very well.”

Initial bird-strike development testing on the Learjet 85 aircraft has been successfully achieved, Bombardier said, and more than 85 percent of the flight test rigs have been commissioned from suppliers.

FAA certification of the Learjet 85 is expected in the second half of 2013.