On Monday at EBACE, Bombardier moved decisively in the direction of investing in the future when it launched greatly upgraded versions of its Learjet 40 and 45 light jets, which it rebranded the Learjet 70 and Learjet 75. The new designations underscore the magnitude of the changes to the models, as well as going nicely with the designation of the company’s under-development Learjet 85, a clean-sheet design.
How big are the changes to the new Lears? In addition to new names, the airplanes will get new upgraded Honeywell TFE-731 powerplants, a new flight deck, the Garmin G5000 touchscreen-controlled integrated cockpit, winglets, and all new interiors.
The new engines, TFE-731-40-BRs, add 385 pounds of additional thrust per side, and are more fuel efficient and quieter to boot. The interior includes new fabrics, new connectivity options, new lighting and new entertainment options.
The cockpit, to repeat a frequent theme at the show, will be the Garmin G5000 integrated avionics suite. The Learjets represent the ninth and tenth turbofan programs in which Garmin has placed its flat-panel avionics systems, not including the now discontinued Piper Altaire.
The certification timetable for the Learjet 70 and Learjet 75 is aggressive. Bombardier expects FAA approval for the airplanes around this time next year.