Bombardier Learjet workers in Wichita represented by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW) went on strike early yesterday morning, following a vote on Saturday to reject a proposed labor agreement. Members of IAM Local 639 overwhelmingly rejected Bombardier’s proposal, with 79 percent opposed to the five-year offer. An equal number of union members authorized a strike, setting the stage for the walkout yesterday.
A Bombardier Learjet 45XR was officially the first jet to land during the dedication of the Rooks County Regional Airport in Stockton, Kan., on Saturday. Kansas governor Sam Brownback was on hand to inaugurate the new business and general aviation airport. “We are honored to have been able to participate in the dedication of the Rooks County Regional Airport,” said Learjet vice president and general manager Ralph Acs. The airport has a single 5,000-foot runway (18/36) and offers 24-hour fueling services.
In mid-July, Bombardier made a flight-test Learjet 40 available to demonstrate the capabilities of the Garmin G5000 integrated flight deck that is a key feature in the new Learjet 70 and 75. This Learjet 40 is one of two flight-test articles flying in the 70/75 program and the first jet to fly with Garmin’s first Part 25 avionics suite, which is branded as the Vision cockpit for the Learjet application and the first Part 25 avionics system with touchscreen control.
Bombardier Flexjet is again offering its Flexjet 25 jet card program, which is operated by U.S. air carrier Jet Solutions, for the holiday season. The 25-hour jet card pairs private jet travel with no-extra-cost travel benefits from Executive Golfer, Abercrombie & Kent, Lake Austin Spa Resort, Korean Air and Qatar Airways. The jet cards start at $100,000 and provide access to Flexjet’s Learjet or Challenger fleets, with the cost of each flight deducted from the debit card balance.
Bombardier’s Global 6000 aircraft, featuring its Global Vision flight deck, attracted a lot of attention at this week’s Jet Expo show in Moscow. The Canadian airframer hopes the appearance of the new long-range model will boost its position in a Russian market, where it already claims the number one slot with a 35 percent share of deliveries in terms of business aircraft registered in Russia or operated by local operators.
Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based Clear 4 Take Off is offering cockpit and cabin window restoration on location. “We can do it at our facility in Fort Lauderdale, but we have a road crew that will go on location anywhere in the U.S.,” Thomas Esposito, president, told AIN. The company can completely refurbish windows provided they are within manufacturer-specified tolerance.
After three years of operations, Perfect Aviation has expanded its customer base and is moving into a larger facility on London Biggin Hill Airport. Perfect Aviation, which claims to be Switzerland’s only publicly listed business aviation management and charter operator, will move its UK subsidiary, Perfect Aviation UK, into an approximately 11,500-sq-ft hangar and office complex previously occupied by PremiAir.
As progress continues on the construction of the first flight-test Bombardier Learjet 85, the airframer said this week that it sees a niche for a smaller follow-on model of the all-composite midsize jet. “I think there is an opportunity between the 75 and the 85,” Learjet vice president and general manager Ralph Acs told journalists this week during a media event. “Our entire notion all along has been that you can come up with a platform and then you spin that to other things.”
The Learjet 60XR was featured in a recent episode of National Geographic Channel’s Megafactories TV series. In this episode, the assembly of businessman David Morgan’s $14 million Learjet 60XR is highlighted to tell the story of how each business jet is assembled at the Wichita plant, as well as how Bombardier Learjet has reinvented itself to optimize production. The film crew captured how the production line runs and the technical expertise and monumental logistics behind each aircraft.
Bombardier switched on the electrical and avionics systems of the first Learjet 75 to roll down the company’s Wichita production line during the week of August 21. The Learjet 75 is an updated version of the 45XR, and the 70 replaces the 40XR. Both feature a new Garmin G5000-based Bombardier Vision flight deck with touchscreen controllers mounted in the cockpit pedestal, synthetic vision display on the PFDs and Garmin’s new solid-state GWX 70 radar.