October 9, 2011
By Alton K. Marsh
Production of the new Learjet 85 has begun following completion of the final critical design review. Teams in Wichita, Kan., Canada, Ireland, and Mexico are involved in the manufacturing validation phase.
“We have made solid progress,” said Ralph Acs, vice president and general manager of the Learjet product line. “Our manufacturing sites are ready, production has begun, we have been successfully building parts, and we are ensuring that all quality standards are met for the Learjet 85 aircraft’s entry into service in 2013.”
Production of wing spars and planks was launched this past spring in Belfast. There are 1,700 employees working on the Learjet 85. It was launched Oct. 30, 2007. The aircraft targets a Mach 0.82 high-speed cruise and a range of 3,000 nautical miles.
AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Alton Marsh has been a pilot since 1970 and has an airline transport pilot certificate and instrument and multiengine flight instructor certificates, aerobatic training, and a commercial seaplane certificate.
A new FAA policy on obstructive sleep apnea that addresses many of the concerns raised by AOPA is scheduled to take effect March 2.
AOPA and the National Business Aviation Association have jointly filed an amicus, or friend of the court, brief in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals as part of the ongoing legal battle over the future of Santa Monica Municipal Airport.
AOPA worked with the flight training industry and FAA to quickly resolve a problem that suddenly put many rating applications on hold.
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