With FAA Permit in Hand, Learjet 85 Nears First Flight

 - February 20, 2014, 1:43 PM

The Learjet 85 is one step closer to beginning its flight-testing phase after the announcement yesterday by Bombardier that the FAA issued the jet’s first flight-test permit. Engineers have run flight test vehicle 1’s (FTV1) Pratt & Whitney Canada PW307Bs and completed low-speed taxi testing. Before the first flight, preparations will include finalizing “the configuration of the aircraft, more engine runs and high-speed taxi tests,” according to Bombardier.

The Learjet 85, which will be the largest Learjet and the first all-composite business jet certified under Part 25 transport-category regulations, had been scheduled to fly before the end of last and enter service this year. During Bombardier’s Fiscal Year 2013 financial results conference call held on February 13, president and CEO Pierre Beaudoin said that after the Learjet 85 is presented to the FAA, “it’s days or a few weeks before we go to first flight.” He added that the certification and entry-into-service schedule will be released after “a period” of flight-testing.

“We have successfully completed preliminary testing on the Learjet 85 FTV1 and we are now one step closer to achieving the first flight,” said Ralph Acs, Bombardier Business Aircraft v-p and general manager for the Learjet 85 program.