At last month’s NBAA Convention, Spirit Wing Aviation of Edmond, Okla., announced that it will begin producing its “virtually new” Spirit-Lear early next year. The company said the $2.2 million SpiritLear–a re-engined Learjet 25–will be priced lower than any other airplane offering its combination of speed, range and passenger capacity.
General Electric CJ610
After some 100 flights, Spirit Wing Aviation of Guthrie, Okla., has completed development testing of its Williams FJ44-powered Learjet 25D and expected to begin about five months of FAA certification flying. The FJ44-2C turbofans replace the Learjet 25D’s original GE CJ610-8A turbojets.
An upgrade to the General Electric J85 engine in U.S. Air Force T-38 trainers has led a Denison, Texas firm to launch a “total upgrade” for Learjet 23s, 24s and 25s, whose GE CJ610 powerplants are a civilian version of the J85 military engine. The program is being offered by Best Jets, a new company established by the owners of Best AeroNet fuel brokers at Grayson County Airport.
The ranks of small business jets are about to swell with the imminent buildup of new sub-10,000-pound jets certified to FAA Part 23 regulations. Priced from $1.5 to $4.5 million, these jets include the newly certified Cessna Mustang and Eclipse 500, and the in-development Adam A700, HondaJet and Embraer Phenom 100.
Bill Lear possessed the soul of a true inventor. Almost entirely a self-taught engineer, Lear dropped out of high school in a search for answers to many of life’s problems as he saw them. The results were products many people take for granted, even today…the car radio he eventually sold to the budding Motorola, the eight-track tape player and the first commercially successful aircraft autopilot. Not bad for a kid with no formal education.
Calvin Burgess is a man who likes Learjets…always has and always will, to hear him tell the story.
Headquartered in O’Fallon, Missouri, Avmats (Aviation Material & Technical Support) specializes in supporting mainly (but not only) business aircraft, particularly focusing on Dassault Falcon, Raytheon Hawker and Sabreliner models. The company services and supplies APUs, avionics, brakes, some engines, starters and generators, instruments, wheels and much more, to clients in the U.S. It also has a facility at Ringwood, England.
Spirit Wing Aviation of Edmund, Okla., said it now expects to receive STC approval for its $2.2 million SpiritLear–a re-engined Learjet 25–in the first quarter of next year. Last year, the company expected certification this past summer.
Spirit Wing Aviation of Guthrie, Okla., has begun the final phase of flight-testing the Spirit-Lear, a re-engined and modified Learjet 24/25. Extensive testing of all SpiritLear systems was ongoing at press time, with STC approval now expected by the end of this summer–a delay from previous estimates of the first quarter.
There is reportedly one HFB 320 Hansa still flying or flyable, based in Turkey. And the last crash of a Hansa–perhaps the last flying Hansa in the U.S.– happened on Nov. 30, 2004. Only 47 of the marque, popularly called the “Hansa Jet,” were built in the late 1960s by Hamburger Flugzeugbau in Finkenwerder, on the Elbe River near Hamburg, Germany.
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