Bombardier Aerospace reported that work on the
first two Learjet 85 flight test aircraft and the complete
aircraft static test article is well underway, with the production
of hundreds of composite components, including the unique 32-foot
composite pressure fuselage.
The joining of the nose fuselage to the main
pressure fuselage, as well as the assembly of the aft fuselage,
vertical stabilizer and tailcone fuselage sections, have all begun
at the Bombardier sites in Wichita, Kansas and Queretaro, Mexico.
The first shipments of wing spars and skins,
manufactured at Bombardier's site in Belfast, Northern Ireland,
have arrived at the Queretaro site, where wing assembly has
already started. Additionally, major supplier components, such as the
aircraft's Pratt & Whitney Canada PW307B engines, are now on site
at the final assembly line in Wichita.
A ground breaking ceremony on 30 April 2012 marked
the official start of the next phase of the Learjet Wichita site
expansion plan, which includes building a new production flight
facility, paint facilities and a new delivery centre to support
the Learjet 85 aircraft.
"We're entering an exciting phase of the
program," said Ralph Acs, Vice President and General Manager,
Learjet, Bombardier Business Aircraft. "Our sites are moving full
speed ahead and the production of the first flight test aircraft
is progressing very well. We have solid momentum in all areas and
it's great to see the focus and commitment of our Bombardier
employees and suppliers worldwide as we assemble our first test
aircraft and prepare for first flight."
Initial bird strike development testing on the
Learjet 85 aircraft has been successfully achieved, and over 85% of the system supplier safety of flight (SOF) test rigs
have been commissioned.
The New Learjet 85
The Learjet 85 is powered by two Pratt & Whitney Canada PW307B engines,
each boasting 6,100 pounds of take-off thrust at sea level up to
86 degrees F (30 degrees C) and low noise levels, while the
advanced low NOx emitting combustor offers reduced environmental
impact. The aircraft targets a high-speed cruise of Mach 0.82 and
a transcontinental range of up to 3,000 nautical miles (5,556
The aircraft's Cabin Management System,
developed by Lufthansa Technik, will feature a high-capacity
Ethernet network, a digital amplifier to feed the high-fidelity
speaker system and an interface to support the aircraft cabin
environment, including lighting and temperature control. The
system's open architecture also allows for easy integration of
third-party equipment and new applications, such as
Bombardier Aerospace acquired Learjet Inc. in
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