Bombardier Aerospace today announced that production of its new Learjet 85 aircraft has officially begun as the program successfully exited the Aircraft Level Critical Design Review. Development and production teams in Wichita, Kansas; Montreal, Quebec; Belfast, Northern Ireland; and Queretaro, Mexico, are actively engaged in the manufacturing validation phase.
"We have made solid progress," said Ralph Acs, Vice President and General Manager, Learjet, Bombardier Business Aircraft. "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."
The Queretaro site is operational with production tooling in place. To date, several test fuselages and key elements of the composite structure have been produced at the facility to validate the manufacturing and assembly processes. In addition, a full-length composite fuselage has been assembled, and production of the first flight test vehicle is underway.
In Wichita, the first phase of expansion is complete and the site is ready for the start of final assembly. Phase two of the expansion plan, which includes building a new production flight facility, is scheduled to begin in 2012, while phase three - the paint facility and new delivery centre - is on track to be completed in 2013.
Production of wing spars and planks using Resin Transfer Infusion (RTI) technology was successfully launched at the Belfast site in spring 2011. Several sets of spars are now complete, and shipments to the Queretaro site, where wing assembly will take place, have begun.
The Learjet 85 aircraft program supply base has started the fabrication of parts, and is on track with approximately 40 per cent of dedicated supplier test rigs that are operational, running their respective systems prior to shipment to the final line. As part of Bombardier's technology readiness program, over 12,000 test pieces have been produced to date. The first Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) structural certification test project was successfully completed this summer.
There are currently more than 1,700 employees working on the Learjet 85 aircraft program across Bombardier Aerospace's sites worldwide.
The new Learjet 85 aircraft - Redefining the midsize segment
Launched on October 30, 2007, with a customer-driven clean-sheet design, the Learjet 85 aircraft is positioned between the midsize Learjet 60 XR and the super midsize Challenger 300 jets.
True to its legendary heritage, the Learjet 85 aircraft is set to deliver the extraordinary performance, superior technology and exceptional value Learjet aircraft owners expect. The jet is powered by two Pratt & Whitney Canada PW307B engines, each boasting 6,100 pounds of take-off thrust at sea level 86F (30C) and low noise levels, while the advanced low NOx emission 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 km).
The Learjet 85 aircraft flight deck combines advanced technology with superior design elements for a cockpit environment unlike any other midsize jet. The latest in technological advancements and superior design aesthetics from Bombardier's Global Vision flight deck are carried over in order to create the ultimate Learjet aircraft flight control environment.
The aircraft's customized version Cabin Management System, developed by Lufthansa Technik, will feature a high-capacity Ethernet network with 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 high-definition features.
Learjet is the first name in corporate aviation. Since acquiring Learjet Inc. in 1990, Bombardier Aerospace has carried forward the brand's proud legacy by launching eight high-performance and fuel-efficient Learjet aircraft.
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