The Learjet 85, which is scheduled to enter service next year, will be the first mostly composite aircraft certified under the stringent requirements of Part 25 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs) and breaks ground on several fronts: creating a new category of business jet between midsize and super-midsize; featuring a Euro-style cabin that draws heavily from the luxury automobile industry and utilizing composites for the fuselage and wings.
The 85 plows a new market niche. Bombardier claims it will have 19 percent more cabin volume than its closest competitor. Indeed, for a midsize, the 85’s cabin is already capacious: 24 feet, nine inches long; six feet, one inch wide; and six feet tall, yielding 665 cubic feet of passenger space and 130 cubic feet of luggage stowage, including three large cabin closets with a combined 30 cubic feet of storage.
Several configurations will be available, including eight single executive seats in a double-club layout or six single seats and a three-place divan. The single seats are pitched at 30 inches and recline into full-berthing positions. The highly contoured single seats feature armrests that retract into the seat backs that can give plus-sized passengers bigger seat-bottom cushions. Seat pedestal stowage drawers that open into the aircraft aisle are significantly easier for passengers to access while seated. They are big enough to hold a laptop computer. The divan and the berthing seats reflect the 85’s 3,000-nautical-mile transcontinental/transatlantic range (with four passengers).
The overall cabin design is bold, even daring, for a midsize corporate jet, with splashes of aluminized interior surfaces, wild-patterned carpet, glossy black piano wood accents and cabinets, flowing oval and curved shapes and hand-stitched white leather seats.
This longer-legged, $18.25 million Learjet also features a full galley and an aft cabin lavatory with a vacuum toilet system. Like several other contemporary cabin designs, the 85 will feature larger cabin windows, 12 by 16 inches each, and more monolithic, streamlined headliners and sidewalls.
Using composites as opposed to metal eliminates much, but not all, of the aircraft’s substructure, saving weight while increasing available cabin volume. The 85’s wings will use composite skins and spars and metal ribs, similar to the design of the Bombardier C Series regional jet that is currently under development. The metal ribs are better able to absorb loads on the inboard section of the wing and manage tolerances more efficiently. The 85’s cabin is one-third larger than the smaller Learjet 60XR’s, yet slightly smaller than that in a true super-midsize.
While the 85 will weigh one-third more than the 60, it will need only 20 percent more thrust, fly 500 more miles on a load of fuel and have a slightly higher top cruise speed–all while offering better specific fuel consumption
Bombardier has carefully thought out this airplane, which could very well help rejuvenate its languishing Learjet brand. It definitely will be one of the most innovative and exciting airplanes to come charter in a long time.
For more information regarding the Bombardier Learjet 85, or any other aircraft model, please contact RYL’s Charter Department at 877.391.6161.