On 9th., April, more than six years after its launch, the Learjet 85 made its first test flight over Wichita in the state of Kansas in the United States where it is assembled. During the two hours spent in the air, the prototype reached an altitude of over 9,100 m. ( 29,800ft. ) and a speed of 460 km. ( 285 miles ) / h.. An eventful day for the 1,800 employees who work on the programme.
The main feature of the new Bombardier twin-jet is the structural composition of its fuselage and wings, made almost entirely of carbon-based composite materials - a first for a business jet. In particular this will allow the reduction of the number of structural parts whilst at the same time being more corrosion resistant than the traditional metal.
With a range of 5,500 km. ( 3,400miles ), the Learjet 85 will be able to attain 870 km. ( 540 miles ) / hour, and able to link Singapore, non-stop, to Beijing, Dubai to Rome or Los Angeles to Montreal. The eight-seater cabin, in which one can stand up without banging your head, has a ceiling height of 1.80 metres ( 5ft 11 in. ), will be equipped with an Ethernet network as well as an interface to control the lighting and temperature.
For now, Bombardier is not disclosing the date of entry into service of its Learjet 85, thought to be probably in the second half of 2015, or indeed how many are on order, probably again at least sixty; only its price is known : a nice round figure of 20 million dollars.