Bombardier Learjet (Booth No. 4397) said yesterday that it has made substantial progress developing the all-composite Learjet 85. The $17.2 million (2009 $) midsize jet is scheduled to enter into service in 2013, but Learjet general manager David Coleal said the program had already achieved important milestones.
Steve Ridolfi, president, Bombardier Business Aircraft
The holder of a deposit on a Learjet 85 has asked Bombardier Aerospace for a refund due to the manufacturer’s plan to build the new jet’s composite airframe at its factory in Querétaro, Mexico.
Bombardier told AIN yesterday at EBACE that development of the “clean sheet” all-composite Bombardier Learjet 85 continues on track for entry-into-service in 2013. The company is using its new production facility in the Queretaro Aerospace Park in Mexico to fabricate the composite structure for the Learjet 85, which is expected to become the first certified all-composite Part 25 business jet.
An agent representing the holder of a deposit on a Learjet 85 today at an EBACE press conference confronted Bombardier Aerospace for a refund due to the manufacturer’s plan to build the new jet’s composite airframe at its factory in Querétaro, Mexico.
Middle East-based executive charter operator Rizon Jet has bucked the downturn in new business aircraft sales by placing a firm order for four Bombardier Learjet 85s worth $68 million. The jets will join a fleet that is also soon to include three Challenger 605s and a second Hawker Beechcraft 900XP. One of the three Challenger 605s will be coming from a source other than Bombardier but the seller has not been identified.
Bombardier Aerospace has tapped the National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR) at Wichita State University to provide material and structural testing and certification for the new Learjet 85. NIAR will be involved in FAA certification of the all-composite midsize twinjet, ranging from small coupon sample testing to structural certification of full-scale components.
Montreal-based Bombardier Aerospace last year delivered 239 business jets, seven more than the previous year, and further took net orders for 262 more, though it is girding for a tougher 2009. The aircraft manufacturer said today that it expects to ship about 10 percent fewer business aircraft this year due to the global recession.
In many ways, last year was an extraordinary year for business aviation, with a record of more than 1,000 jet deliveries but also a large number of new jet programs launched. Last year, Cessna kicked off the Citation Columbus, a more than three-quarter billion dollar program that brings Cessna into the large-cabin long-range jet market. Dassault is upgrading the Falcon 900 with winglets to make
Very light jet. Super-midsize. Ultra-long-range. These are just some of the names that manufacturers, analysts and aviation journalists use to try to pigeonhole business jets into market niches. But with so much fragmentation in the field and a blurring of traditional lines, such attempts at classification are becoming harder than ever.