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Learjet 85 to have one-piece composite fuselage


The eight-passenger, $19 million Learjet 85 well on its way through the design phase for delivery in 2013 and will have the first one-piece composite fuselage ever approved by the FAA, a company official said. The entire fuselage will have just one part number.

The composite construction will use a lay-up process rather than winding composite materials on a spool before they are placed in an oven to be cured. The detailed design of the Mach 0.82 airplane is 50-percent complete. A huge final assembly building in Wichita, Kan., will be completed soon. There are 60 firm orders that have not diminished in number during the recession. The orders account for the first 18 months of production.

“We are very excited to see the program advancing with such great momentum,” said Steve Ridolfi, president of Bombardier Business Aircraft. The aircraft will fly four people 3,000 nm at Mach 0.78, but has a high-speed cruise of Mach 0.82. It will use “double club” style seating.

“Launched on Oct. 30, 2007, the Learjet 85 will be the first Bombardier Aerospace jet to feature a composite structure and wing, and will be the first primarily composite structure business jet designed for type certification under FAA Part 25,” the company said in a statement.

Alton Marsh
Alton K. Marsh
Freelance journalist
Alton K. Marsh is a former senior editor of AOPA Pilot and is now a freelance journalist specializing in aviation topics.

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