Learjet 85 First Flight Imminent

** Learjet 85**

Look for the Learjet 85 to make its hotly anticipated first flight in the coming weeks after Bombardier completed engine ground runs and low-speed taxi tests prior to receiving the necessary first-flight permit from the FAA.

The Learjet 85 is the first all-new airplane from the manufacturer in more than 15 years. Launched in 2007, the all-composite model has faced delays related to what Bombardier has termed "technology challenges." With these issues now apparently resolved, the Model 85 is set to begin its flight test regimen in Wichita, Kansas. FAA certification and first deliveries and planned for later this year.

Powered by a pair of Pratt & Whitney PW307B turbofan engines, the Learjet 85 is targeted to have a range of 2600 nm, a Mach 0.82 high-speed cruise and a price of around $18.5 million.

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