Pete Reynolds, 69, the former Bombardier Learjet chief flight-test pilot, died on Thursday. He will be inducted into the Kansas Aviation Hall of Fame–as previously scheduled, but now posthumously–tonight at a ceremony hosted by the Kansas Aviation Museum and Wichita Aero Club. Reynolds played a major role in the development, testing and certification of virtually every Learjet model between 1973, when he joined Learjet, and 2003, when he retired. He spent the last eight years of his tenure with Bombardier as the vice president of flight test.
VistaJet expects to have its new operation in China up and running by the end of 2014 if it achieves its goal of getting its local air operators certificate approved by early in the fourth quarter of this year. Ahead of this week’s ABACE show, the Europe-based private flight provider was giving no further details of its local partnership arrangements for the China operation, but it has previously been in discussion with Beijing Airlines.
Former Bombardier Learjet chief flight-test pilot Pete Reynolds will be inducted into the Kansas Aviation Hall of Fame on April 15 at a ceremony hosted by the Kansas Aviation Museum and Wichita Aero Club. Reynolds had a major role in the development, testing and certification of virtually every Learjet model between 1973, when he joined Learjet, and 2003, when he retired.
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.
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.
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.
Bombardier Aerospace delivered 180 business jets last year, up one from 2012. However, the Canadian aircraft manufacturer missed its 2013 guidance by 10 business airplanes, “mainly due to the transition from the Learjet 40XR and Learjet 45XR to the Learjet 70 and Learjet 75, which entered service in the fourth quarter.” The company originally expected deliveries of these revamped light jets to start in the third quarter. It shipped 29 Learjets, 89 Challengers and 62 Globals last year, compared with 39 Learjets, 86 Challengers and 54 Globals in 2012.