July 21, 2009
Bombardier says that its Learjet 85 project is humming right along.
“We have completed more than 60 significant program milestones as proof points to our progress,” said Ralph Acs vice president of the Learjet 85 team.
Two proof-of-concept fuselages have been built in Bombardier’s Montreal facilities; the design of the fuselage outside mold has been frozen, and wing development is progressing steadily as a proof-of-concept wing demonstrator is under way. The wing design, Bombardier says, benefits from the company’s experience with composite wing-build techniques learned in the development of its C-series, 110- to 130-seat airliners. So far, 30 major suppliers have been contracted and are active in the airplane’s joint definition phase. This phase finalizes the structure of the airplane.
Ramp-up and construction of assembly sites in Queretaro, Mexico (primary structure and pre-assembly), and Wichita, Kan., (final assembly and delivery) is also in progress, and more than 60 employees have completed training in composites technology and application, Bombardier adds.
The all-composite, Mach 0.82, 3,000-nm, $13-million eight-seat jet is set for certification in late 2012 or early 2013.
Collaboration between the German government, academia, and airplane manufacturers may make future aircraft cabins more protective of pilots and passengers. The Safety Box team plans to apply auto racing technology to general aviation.
A father and his 14-year-old son were helping another pilot ferry a newly purchased aircraft from California to their home field in Virginia. The three made an overnight stop in Albuquerque before flying on to Illinois for fuel. But shortly after they parked the aircraft in Marion, Ill., they were approached by as many as 18 uniformed and non-uniformed law enforcement officers who came running toward the airplane.
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