It has been a long time coming and the wait is almost over. After five years in development, the Bombardier Learjet 85 is set for entry into service next year. With over 100 orders placed for the $18 million aircraft, Bombardier is excited about the plane and they should be. It will be the first business jet with wing and fuselage built mostly of carbon composite materials to receive FAR Part 25 type certification.
The eight passenger jet is the most luxurious Learjet ever and is set to revolutionize the private jet industry with its innovation. The airframe’s composite construction is lighter in weight and aerodynamically more efficient than a traditional aluminum craft with rivets. Less drag means better fuel efficiency. And interestingly, the composite construction allows the walls to be thinner and the cabin to be reshaped for more head and leg room.
In a creative use of space, there’s an ergonomically designed galley aboard with glass and tableware storage, an ice bin and a microwave. From the newly designed ergo-seats, each passenger will have private controls for the state of the art entertainment and cabin management system, with XM satellite radio, internet and Wi-Fi for personal devices. With a range of 3000 nautical miles and a speed of Mach .82, Bombardier proudly states that it goes farther and faster than any Learjet ever built.
In anticipation of its pending service entry, Bombardier is on an 11 city promotional VIP tour with a wingless fuselage in tow, showing it off to elites who they hope will decide they can’t live without one. At the end of August, a similar event was held in West Hollywood where it’s said that Hollywood’s movers and shakers sipped wine while they stood in line up to 20 minutes to get a peek inside the wingless bird.
The movie market is one Bombardier is working hard for, since flying private is virtually the only way for stars to avoid annoying paparazzi at public airports. In an effort to gain favor, they’re thoughtfully supporting film industry charities and foundations as well as hosting events for Hollywood’s elite. They’ve even designed an optional screening room on-board the new Learjet 85 for those who want to watch themselves and their friends from 40,000 feet.
Movie studios have traditionally had private planes to shuttle the stars around, but today more and more A-list stars are buying or leasing their own planes. Bombardier has even engaged famous jet lover John Travolta as its brand ambassador in the hopes of getting some extra attention for the Learjet 85. No word so far whether Travolta will be a guest pilot for any marketing flights.