This month Bombardier commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Learjet’s first flight even as the company struggles to launch a larger new flagship, the Model 85, and switch to composite airframe construction. Since 1963, Learjet has become one of the world’s most iconic brands, often generically misused to describe any make/model of private jet, and a conspicuous sign of affluence.
The firm started in 1999 as the HVLS Fan Co., an acronym for high-volume low-speed fans. That name accurately described the design and efficiency of the company’s products, but after three years in business, according to the Lexington, Ky.-based manufacturer, “we finally had to bow to the sentiments of our customers and concede that we do, in fact, design and manufacture some Big Ass Fans.” Hence, the current brand name.
Flexjet, which will soon be owned by Directional Aviation Capital, doubled its firm order for Learjet 85s yesterday at NBAA 2013. This latest transaction puts the Flexjet order at 115 firm aircraft from Bombardier (Booth No. N5731)– including 60 Learjet 85s–and options for 150 more. If all of the options are exercised, this brings the order value total to $5.6 billion
Tamarack Aerospace and Cessna Aircraft have signed an agreement in which Cessna will market, sell and install Tamarack’s active winglets for theCitationJet family through the CJ3. Tamarack announced the agreement here at NBAA 2013 yesterday.
Boeing Business Jets (BBJ, Booth No. 2304, Static) yesterday revealed more details about its line of fuel-efficient and longer-range BBJ Max single-aisle bizliners here at the NBAA show, while also announcing a new “Split Scimitar” winglet retrofit for existing BBJs, in cooperation with Aviation Partners.
Boeing Business Jets gave more details about its line of fuel-efficient and longer-range BBJ Max single-aisle bizliners today at the NBAA Convention. Looking forward, the new BBJ Max 8 and BBJ Max 9 are designed to replace the current BBJ2 and BBJ3, respectively, and feature significant range improvements, thanks mostly to new CFM Leap engines and advanced winglet technology.
Today at NBAA 2013, aircraft remanufacturer Nextant Aerospace revealed its next project–a King Air C90 outfitted with GE H80 turboprop engines, Garmin G1000 glass cockpit, zero-timed components, winglets, strakes and new paint and interior. Initial deliveries of the G90XT, a $2 million to $3 million like-new turboprop twin with single-lever power controls, will start later next year.
If you want to see the inside of a really big business jet–one that’s the size of an airliner–at the NBAA 2013 static display at Henderson Executive Airport, you may encounter a silk rope draped across the handrails at the bottom of the passenger stairs. A professionally attired man or woman standing by the rope will explain that the aircraft is being shown and then politely suggest, “Please come back later.” Later could take a long time.
This month Bombardier commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Learjet’s first flight even as the company struggles to launch a larger new flagship, the Model 85, and switch to composite airframe construction. Since 1963, Learjet has become one of the world’s most iconic brands, often generically misused to describe any make/model of private jet, and a conspicuous sign of affluence. Early Learjet owners included crooner Frank Sinatra and industrialist Louise Timken, and their aircraft were a far cry from the comfortable cabins of today.
Cessna is completing certification flight-testing on its new $4.395 million M2 light jet and expects certification within “a few weeks,” company vice president Brad Thress told AIN. Earlier this week, Garmin provided the Wichita aircraft manufacturer with the final data load for the aircraft’s new Intrinzic cockpit, which features a touchscreen G3000 avionics system.