Bombardier Aerospace delayed today’s scheduled maiden flight of the Learjet 85 because of weather in Wichita, where the aircraft was assembled and is being tested, Bombardier CEO Pierre Beaudoin said at an investor conference this morning in New York.
A company spokeswoman told AIN that the flight was delayed because “the overall conditions were not optimal,” without elaborating further. Weather reports indicated clear skies and more than six miles visibility today in Wichita, though wind from the southwest was forecast to pick up from nine knots to 22 knots gusting to 30 knots. “We remain committed to following strict protocols required for a safe flight; we will fly when we’re ready,” she added.
Meanwhile, Bombardier Aerospace president and COO Guy Hachey told attendees at the investor conference that the company expects the Learjet 85 to generate $1 billion to $1.5 billon of revenue annually in a five-year horizon. He said that updated certification and entry-into-service dates for the new aircraft won’t be announced until a few weeks after first flight.