Infobox Defunct Company
company_name = Learjet
fate = incorporated into Bombardier.
foundation = 1960
defunct = 1986
location = Wichita,
Learjet is a manufacturer of
business jets for civilian and military use. It was founded in the late 1950s by William Powell Lear Jr. as Swiss American Aviation Corporation. Learjet is now a subsidiary of Bombardierand marketed as the "Bombardier Learjet Family".
The Learjet started life as an abortive Swiss ground-attack
fighter aircraft, the FFA P-16. Development started in 1952 and prototypes were ordered the next year. The first prototypes flew in 1955 and construction and testing continued until 1958 when an order for 100 was placed. This was reversed soon after due to a crash of the third prototype. Two additional prototypes were finished, the last in 1960, but the project was ended at this point.
The basic structure of this aircraft was seen by Bill Lear and his team as a good starting point to the development of a business jet, which was originally intended to be called the SAAC-23. The wing with its distinctive tip fuel tanks and landing gear of the first Learjets were little changed from those used by the fighter prototypes. The tooling for building the aircraft was purchased and moved to
Wichita, Kansasin 1962. On February 7, assembly of the first Learjet began. The next year, the company was renamed the Lear Jet Corporation.
Learjet 23was a six to eight seater and first flew on October 7, 1963, with the first production model being delivered in October 1964. Just over a month later, Lear Jet became a publicly-owned corporation. Several derived models followed, with the Model 24 first flying on February 241966 and the Model 25 first flying on August 12, 1966. On September 19 of the same year, the company was renamed Lear Jet Industries Inc.
April 10, 1967, all of Bill Lear's assetsndash he held approximately 60% of the company (US$27,000,000)ndash were acquired by the Gates Rubber Companyof Denver, Colorado, United States. However, Lear remained on the board until April 2, 1969. Later, in 1969, the company was merged with Gates Aviation and the company name was changed to Gates Learjet Corporation.
In 1971, the first Model 25 powered by a Garrett TFE731-2
turbofanengine was flown. This aircraft later became the successful Learjet 35. That year, the company was awarded the President's "E" Awardfor promoting export sales.
In 1974, the worldwide Learjet fleet had exceeded the one million flight hours mark and in 1975 the company produced its 500th jet. In both instances they were the first manufacturer to do so. By late 1976, the company had increased the number of aircraft being produced each month to 10.
August 24, 1977, the Learjet 28 made its first flight. The Learjet 28/29 was based on the Learjet 25, and received a completely new wing fitted with winglets, resulting in improved performance and fuel economy. The Learjet 28/29 became the first production jet aircraft to utilize these winglets - which are now a common sight on most business and commercial airplanes. The winglets inspired the name "Longhorn" for the short-lived Learjet 28/29 series and for some of the more successful models that followed.
In 1984, the Gates Learjet announced the start of their Aerospace Division, a high technology endeavor. However, by the end of the year the company had ceased production of its commercial jets in an effort to reduce inventories. This lasted until February 1986, when the company headquarters were transferred to
Tucson, Arizona, and production was restarted both in Wichita and Tucson.
On September 10, 1985, the Aerospace Division was awarded a contract to produce parts for the
Space Shuttle's main engines.
In 1987, the Gates Learjet was acquired by Integrated Acquisition and the next year the name was changed to Learjet Corporation. By January 1989 all production had been moved from the Tucson facility back to Wichita. The next year, 1990,
Bombardier Aerospacepurchased the Learjet Corporation. The aircraft were then marketed as the "Bombardier Learjet Family".
In October 2007 Bombardier Learjet launched a brand new aircraft program, the
Learjet 85. It was the first FAR Part-25 all composite business aircraft.
October 7 2008, Bombardier will be celebrating Learjet's historic 45th anniversary of the first flight ever by a Learjet. As a way to commemorate this, Bombardier Business aircraft (a division of Bombardier inc.) decided to launch the Year of Learjet campaign, a year long celebration to honor Learjet's contribution as a pioneer to the private business jet industry. One of the most memorable event to mark this celebration occurred at the Farnborough Air Show, when Formula Oneprodigy Lewis Hamiltonraced a Learjet and won. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7505652.stm BBC NEWS | UK | Lewis Hamilton races Lear jet ] ]
Learjet 23– (Lear Jet)
Learjet 24– (Lear Jet & Gates Learjet)
Learjet 25– (Lear Jet & Gates Learjet)
* Learjet 28 – (Gates Learjet)
* Learjet 29 – (Gates Learjet)
Learjet 31– (Lear Jet & Gates Learjet)
Learjet 35– (Learjet, Gates Learjet & Shin Meiwa). Known as the C-21 in U.S. Air Force service.
* Learjet 36 – (Gates Learjet). Basically a Learjet 35 with increased range. This increase is possible through the removal of two seats for an extra fuel tank.
Learjet 40– (Learjet)
Learjet 45– (Learjet)
Learjet 55– (Gates Learjet)
Learjet 60– (Learjet)
Learjet 85- (Learjet)
de Havilland Canada
* [http://www.wingsoverkansas.com/history/article.asp?id=199 Learjet timeline from Wings over Kansas]
* [http://www.bombardier.com/index.jsp?id=3_0&lang=en&file=/en/3_0/3_2/3_2_1/3_2_1.jsp Bombardier Learjet website]
* [http://www.yearoflearjet.com Year of Learjet website]
* [http://www.learjet85.com Learjet 85 website]
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Look at other dictionaries:
Learjet — 150px Tipo Fabricante de aeronaves Género Aviación Fundación 1960 Fund … Wikipedia Español
Learjet 35 — Learjet 35/36 Learjet 35A de la Luftwaffe suiza Tipo Avión ejecutivo Fabricante … Wikipedia Español
Learjet 25 — Learjet NASA Тип … Википедия
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Learjet 25 — Learjet 25 … Deutsch Wikipedia
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Learjet 31 — Learjet 31 … Deutsch Wikipedia
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Learjet 23 — Learjet 23 … Deutsch Wikipedia