At the J.P. Morgan Aviation, Transportation and Industrials Conference yesterday, leaders from Bombardier, Cessna and Embraer provided summaries of their companies’ standing. Following are some “takeaways” from the event. “Bombardier: The switch to the Learjet 70/75 and Challenger 350 should help Bombardier shore up business jet pricing. Bombardier completed high-speed taxi testing on the Learjet 85, so first flight is very close. The advantage of composites here is primarily lower costs with fewer parts.
On Monday, Bombardier Aerospace inaugurated its first dedicated Customer Response Team (CRT) aircraft, a Learjet 45 that will be used to provide a rapid response for aircraft on ground (AOG)/unscheduled maintenance events in the continental U.S.
Springfield, Ohio-based Spectra Jet has been issued new operations specifications that cover every Learjet, including the 20, 30, 40, 50, 60 and 70 series. “Our trained technicians, support equipment and facility are poised to support both new and classic aircraft,” a spokesman for the company said. Spectra Jet, which specializes in Learjet maintenance and service, was founded by former Learjet field service reps.
The new Bombardier Learjet 75 began a nearly four-week Latin America demonstration tour today. The light jet, which received FAA certification in December, will visit cities in Mexico, Panama, Colombia, Guatemala, Brazil and Chile from today through March 28. It will be on static display during Aero Expo in Toluca, Mexico, from tomorrow through Saturday and FIDAE in Santiago, Chile, from March 25 to 31.
Denver Centennial Airport-based International Jet Aviation transformed one of its Learjet 35As (N925DM) into Dream Chaser 4 for five days in late January to fly more than 50 children in five Western U.S. cities for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The jet also had a temporary rainbow paint scheme “to make it special for the children,” who ranged in age from four to 17 years old.
Bombardier’s Learjet 85 program is moving toward first flight (if it hasn’t already happened after this issue went to press), but the company’s plans to achieve certification and begin customer deliveries this year appear to be unachievable.
The Raisbeck aft fuselage locker for the Learjet 60 has completed all of the FAA-required certification tests, the company said yesterday. The test aircraft, S/N 60-197, is now in refurbishment at West Star Aviation, where it will receive a full paint job and interior update before redelivery to its owner. Raisbeck’s Learjet 60 aft fuselage locker adds 30 cu ft of storage space and closely resembles its earlier lockers designed and certified for 30-series Learjets.
Berlin-based Lufthansa Bombardier Aviation Services (LBAS) opened its new line service operation in Zurich, Switzerland, on February 20. Following a two-day review by German aviation officials acting on behalf of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), the facility was cleared to begin operations. ExecuJet Europe has partnered with LBAS to offer line maintenance support for Bombardier business jets, including the Learjet 40, 45 and 60, as well as the Challenger series and Global Express, XRS, Global 5000 and Global 6000.
Trisoft Covers, based in Sarasota, Fla., has developed foam protective panels for Learjet delta fins. The lightweight panels are designed to protect not only the airframe but also workers, who have been known to bang their heads on the ventral-mounted surfaces. Made of sun-, heat- and cold-resistant XLPE foam, the panels protect the aircraft surfaces from dropped tools, flashlights, spray cans and other hazards. The kits are intended for indoor use only, and include panels and clamps. Cost is $655.95 for the Learjet 31 and 45, and $965.95 for the Learjet 60.
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.