- 12 Feb 2021
- Chris Kjelgaard
- Avionics for Biz Av
Currently, the Bombardier Learjet 75 is the only model that remains in production. Learjet will cease all production Q4 2021.
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A Bombardier Learjet 75 Liberty costs $9.25m for a 2021 model, according to Aircraft Bluebook’s Winter 2021 data. Buyers can purchase a used Learjet for less, however, with the price depending on its age and condition. For example, Aircraft Bluebook’s Winter 2021 data shows that a 2012-model Learjet 45XR retails for approximately $3.6m, while an older 2000-model Learjet 31A costs $1.0m. Some earlier-model Learjets are still in operation, with the Learjet 24D selling for approximately $185k (1976 model), and the earliest Learjet 23 and 24 models retailing for less than $100k.
In December 2021 there were 2,095 Bombardier Learjets flying worldwide, per JETNET. The Learjet 35A has the largest in-operation fleet, with 384 of 608 units still in operation. At the time of writing, there had been 955 Learjet retirements from a total 3,055 units built.
Bombardier Learjets offer maximum ranges between 1,000nm (for the Learjet 23) up to 2,080nm (for the Learjet 75), according to Charlie Bravo Aviation and Bombardier, respectively
Several private jets compete with Bombardier Learjet models, including various Cessna Citation models, Hawker business jet models, Embraer light jet models, and even Gulfstream’s G100/G150 mid-size jets. For model-specific information, check out AvBuyer’s Jet Comparison articles.
Bombardier Learjet Jets Overview
By Gerrard Cowan- Editor, Aircraft Reviews
Learjets have been part of the fabric of Bombardier for over 30 years, though the aircraft family traces its history further than that – to the very origins of the business jet market. Since the first Learjet 23 Light Jet flew in October 1963, the aircraft family has been a significant name in the business jet market.
Pre-Bombardier Learjet Development
The original Learjet 23 Light Jet was one of the first business aircraft, holding up to six passengers. It was soon followed by the Learjet 24, which was able to carry greater weight and offered a range of other improvements, including upgraded engines with greater power.
Several variants of the 24-series were produced, including the Learjet 24A, 24B, 24C, 24D, 24E and 24F – each offering modifications and variations appealing to slightly different prospective operators. The Learjet 24D was the most popular, offering improved range, take-off weight, and – a first for Learjets – round cabin windows.
The company continued to pursue size and other improvements throughout the decades. The Learjet 25, for instance, was effectively a larger version of the Learjet 24, carrying up to eight passengers, along with two crew. It also offered a longer range.
As with the 24-series, Learjet produced several 25-series variants, including the Learjet 25B, 25C, 25D and 25G. The Learjet 25D proved to be the most in-demand, offering longer range.
The Learjet 28 was eventually developed to succeed the Learjet 25, and evolved alongside the Learjet 29 which was essentially the same aircraft but offered a fuel tank enabling enhanced range. That came at the expense of passenger capacity, however, since the Learjet 29 could only carry four passengers, as opposed to the usual six to eight.
Next, the company produced the Learjet 35 and Learjet 36, which both offered greater ranges, and more fuel-efficient powerplants, along with more comfortable cabins. These were upgraded to the Learjet 35A and Learjet 36A, with each jet incorporating better engines, allowing for higher take-off weights. The Learjet 35A would prove to be a big hit on the market, with over 600 units produced.
Towards the start of the 1980s, the company entered the Mid-Size Jet market with certification of the Learjet 55, and later upgraded it with the Learjet 55C (the first aircraft to incorporate delta fins). Also during the 1980s, the company launched the Learjet 31, which succeeded the Learjet 28 and 29, offering capacity for eight.
After Bombardier’s Learjet Acquisition
In 1990, Bombardier acquired Learjet Corporation, marking a new era for the jet. The upgraded Learjet 31A was introduced in October of that year, featuring increased cruising speed and digital avionics (later the Learjet 31A/ER would offer increased range).
Also in 1990, the Learjet 60, a replacement for the Learjet 55 – with a longer fuselage and upgraded engines – made its first flight, beginning deliveries in 1993.
By 1995, the Bombardier Learjet 45 Mid-Size Jet made its first flight, becoming the first completely new design in the family since the original Learjet 23 platform. It was capable of holding up to nine passengers and has been regularly adapted over the past 25 years, notably through the development of the smaller Learjet 40 Mid-Size Jet model.
Recent and Current Bombardier Learjet Models
The Learjet 75 Mid-Size Jet is viewed as the modern successor to the Learjet 45 model, and functions as Bombardier Learjet’s prime focus for the coming years. It is similar to the Learjet 45XR aircraft, though it has improved engines, winglets and Garmin 5000 avionics.
Similar to the Learjet 40, a smaller version Learjet 70 Mid-Size Jet was introduced, but production of this aircraft (and that of the original Learjet 75 aircraft) has now stopped.
The newest Learjet aircraft – the Bombardier Learjet 75 Liberty – entered service in October 2020 and has a maximum range of 2,080nm, while offering a six- or eight-seat cabin configuration. Bombardier highlights the platform’s advanced wing design and wing loading (which contribute to a smooth ride), competitive operating costs, certification to the highest safety standards, and a quiet and spacious Executive Suite.
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