October 22, 2013
By Thomas A. Horne
In September, Bombardier announced that its Flexjet fractional ownership division made a historic firm order for 245 Bombardier business jets. That number included 25 Learjet 75s, 30 Learjet 85s, 20 Challenger 350s, and 10 Challenger 605s, plus options for 160 more Bombardier jets.
Today, Flexjet converted 30 Learjet 85 options into firm orders, giving the company 60 firm orders for Learjet 85s. This brings the total worth of the Learjet 85 purchases to $2.4 billion. Now Flexjet’s total firm orders have hit the 115-airplane mark, with 150 more options to buy. If all the options are exercised, the total value of the deal would be approximately $5.6 billion.
Since September, Flexjet has been purchased by Directional Aviation Capital, an exclusive operator of Bombardier business jets. And now the new owner has been investigating a new, six-seat interior configuration for its Lear 75 airplanes it calls the L75LXI. The idea is to give customers more interior space and a more modern look in terms of interior finishings and color schemes.
First flight of the 3,000-nautical-mile, Mach 0.82, all-composite Learjet 85 is expected by the end of 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 half-ton Dodge truck lines up on the centerline. As the pickup accelerates, the floatplane trailered behind it adds power, lifts off, banks left, and departs: just another floatplane launch by Joe Sprague of Cadillac Aircraft Services in Cadillac, Mich.
Public-use heliports aren't very plentiful, but those that are offer unique capabilities and a fun challenge.
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