David Coleal, Bombardier Learjet’s Vice President and General Manager, said, "This will be the largest, fastest Learjet ever built. We’re very fortunate to have one of the nation’s leading composite centers here at Wichita State to work with us on this innovative project."
On September 17, 2008, Learjet announced it would assume complete responsibility for the detail design and manufacturing of all primary and secondary structures for Learjet 85 aircraft, with much of this work to occur in Wichita.
"Learjet has long been a supporter of technology advancements within NIAR", said Ralph Acs, Vice President, Learjet 85. "This new partnership will strengthen this relationship and supports the plan to make the Learjet 85 a technologically advanced aircraft."
Learjet is a core member of NIAR’s Industry Advisory Council. The council, made up of the vice presidents of engineering at Learjet, Boeing IDS, Cessna, Hawker Beechcraft, and Spirit AeroSystems, provides input and feedback on the research focus and laboratory capabilities at NIAR.
"It’s good to see these companies benefit directly from NIAR’s technology," said Dr. John Tomblin, NIAR Executive Director. "The laboratory capabilities that Learjet has helped establish will be used for the advancement of this new aircraft."
NIAR is well-known for its composite material research and certification capabilities. The Composites and Advanced Materials Laboratory is the institute’s largest lab in terms of staffing, capability and investments/expenditures. The lab specializes in developing low-cost manufacturing processes while providing thermal, mechanical and analyses tools.
"I’m delighted Bombardier Learjet has selected NIAR as a key partner in the development of its new business jet," said Beggs. "It’s a tribute to the outstanding scientists, engineers and technicians at NIAR, who are among the best in the world."
"This is outstanding recognition of the Wichita State model of developing research and testing capabilities directly in response to current and anticipated industry and government needs," said WSU Provost Gary Miller.
As the lead institution in the FAA’s Center of Excellence for Composites and Advanced Materials, NIAR performs a large majority of the FAA’s composite research and has worked with numerous aircraft manufacturers to develop efficient composite materials. NIAR is also the headquarters for the NASA National Center for Advanced Materials Performance (NCAMP).
NIAR archive photo
In addition to utilizing NIAR’s experienced Composites Laboratory, the Learjet 85 aircraft’s certification process will also involve NIAR’s Full-Scale Structural Testing Laboratory whose staff is the most qualified in aviation industry, with more than 400 years of combined testing experience with unique experience in the certification of composite aircraft.
NIAR’s 16 laboratories, which focus primarily on airframe technology, occupy more than 150,000 square feet of lab space and employ nearly 200 full-time research scientists and engineers and 150 part-time laboratory technicians.
"With their unique skill-set and history involving composite material placement into aircraft production, NIAR was a natural choice for Learjet 85 material development program," said Acs.
"This relationship provides a unique opportunity to utilize many of NIAR’s research capabilities in one extensive program," Tomblin said. "We look forward to using this advantage to help develop the Learjet 85 as one of the most efficient and innovative new business jets."
About the Learjet 85
Courtesy of Bombardier Learjet
Designed to provide a larger, more comfortable cabin than any existing midsize aircraft, the Learjet 85 business jet will offer eight passengers a stand-up cabin built to ensure superior productivity and comfort.
Powered by Pratt & Whitney Canada PW307B engines, the aircraft engines each boast 6,100 lb. (2,772 kg) of take-off thrust, while the low-emission combuster offers reduced environmental impact. The clean-sheet Learjet 85 aircraft targets a high-speed cruise of Mach 0.82 and a transcontinental range of up to 3,000 nautical miles (5,556 km)*.
The new Learjet 85 aircraft flight deck combines advanced technology with superior design elements for a cockpit environment unlike any other midsize jet. The latest in technological advancements from Rockwell Collins – the new Pro Line Fusion avionics suite – is once again paired with superior design aesthetics to create the ultimate Learjet flight control environment.
* Either registered or unregistered trademarks of Bombardier Inc. or its subsidiaries.