The first Bombardier Learjet 85 wing shipment arrived yesterday at the company’s Wichita assembly line and is now in the process of being readied for mating to the composite fuselage of flight test vehicle one (FTV1).
Bombardier switched on the electrical and avionics systems of the first Learjet 75 to roll down the company’s Wichita production line during the week of August 21. The Learjet 75 is an updated version of the 45XR, and the 70 replaces the 40XR. Both feature a new Garmin G5000-based Bombardier Vision flight deck with touchscreen controllers mounted in the cockpit pedestal, synthetic vision display on the PFDs and Garmin’s new solid-state GWX 70 radar.
The Learjet 85, the first all-composite Part 25 business jet, remains on track for certification and entry into service next year, according to Bombardier. “Four test aircraft are in various stages of production,” the company noted, and shipment of the first pressure vessel from Bombardier’s factory in Querétaro, Mexico, to the final-assembly plant in Wichita was imminent (in mid-July). At the Querétaro factory, technicians completed construction of the first Learjet 85’s wing internal structure and the wing was moved to the final-assembly position for installation of the wing plank.
A recent Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS) report of a Learjet 31 altitude bust on departure from Denver’s Centennial Airport (APA) reminds all aviators that miscommunication, poor preflight planning and a loss of situational awareness can lead to serious mistakes.
The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) recently approved two Raisbeck Engineering King Air performance systems–the dual aft body strakes and the Crown wing lockers. First applications of the modifications in China are on a King Air 350, the Seattle-based company said. Other applications for Raisbeck mods–including current and upcoming performance systems on the Learjet 31/35/36/60 and all other King Air models–are currently working their way through the CAAC, according to Raisbeck.
The FAA’s recent decision to permit Waas LPV upgrades of Universal Avionics FMS equipment under a basic field approval instead of an aircraft-specific STC could benefit thousands of Part 25 business jet operators, even if they don’t fly with Universal gear. The change, adopted after months of back-and-forth meetings between the FAA and the Tucson, Ariz.
Cessna confirmed yesterday that it now holds purchase agreements for no less than 160 of the Citation Mustang jet that it unveiled here at NBAA on Tuesday. It has collected $10,000 deposits for the new $2.295 million light jet.
Avcon Industries, manufacturer of aft fuselage delta fins and other mods to improve directional stability and increase payload/range capability for the Learjet 35/36, will resume work to obtain STCs for similar mods on the Learjet 25. The Newton, Kan. company’s Learjet 25 development program was abruptly shattered on June 12 when, during a key flight test, the aircraft was destroyed in a crash landing, seriously injuring the two pilots.
Eyebrows were raised in January when Grob was named as the single source for the Learjet 85’s entire primary and secondary composite structures. That was because Zurich-based Grob is also developing another all-composite light jet, its own SPn, which could potentially compete with Bombardier’s Learjet 40XR.
Further strengthening its relationship with avionics maker Rockwell Collins, Bombardier has selected the Pro Line Fusion cockpit for its composite Learjet 85 midsize jet. The announcement marks the second selection by Bombardier of the Fusion suite after the Canadian company chose the avionics as the centerpiece for its so-called Global Vision cockpit last fall.