October 7, 2008
Airframe primary and secondary structures for the new Learjet 85 will be built at Bombardier’s Queretaro, Mexico, plant, according to a David Coleal, vice president and general manager of Bombardier’s Learjet division.
This Oct. 6 announcement follows Bombardier’s decision to abandon Germany’s Grob Aerospace as an airframe contractor.
Currently, the Mexican facility has 400 employees. Some 800 more employees with experience in composite structure and assembly will be added to the workforce after being trained at Bombardier headquarters in Montreal. Tooling and other equipment for the Learjet 85’s all-composite airframe will be supplied by outside contractors.
The Learjet 85, the first clean-sheet Learjet design in 10 years, will be a mid-size business jet with double-club seating, plush interior appointments, and cabin dimensions that fill the niche between the Learjet 60XR and Bombardier’s Challenger 300.
It’s to be the biggest and fastest Learjet ever, say Learjet spokesmen. Max cruise speed should be Mach 0.82, and maximum range should be 3,000 nm. Its projected 61-foot wingspan and 19-foot height would make the airplane 42 percent larger than the Learjet 60XR. And with a planned max takeoff weight of 33,750 pounds, it’s 10,000 pounds heavier than the 60XR. The cockpit will feature Rockwell Collins’ ProLine Fusion avionics, and power will be from two Pratt & Whitney PW307B turbofans of 6,100 lbst each. Deliveries are expected to begin in 2012 or 2013.
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