After facing several delays, Bombardier Aerospace's Learjet 85 took off on Wednesday from Wichita Mid-Continent International Airport to successfully complete its first flight.
The Learjet 85 performed "very well," according to Vice President and General Manager Ralph Acs. The all-composite jet flew for 2 hours and 15 minutes and reached an altitude of 30,000 feet and an airspeed of 250 knots. This milestone kicks off the start of the jet's flight test program as it takes one step closer to its first customer delivery.
"We are all very excited to see this new aircraft, the fastest and most spacious Learjet aircraft, take to the skies, and we look forward to a very successful flight test program," said Éric Martel, president of Bombardier Business Aircraft.
With a maximum cabin height of 5 feet 11 inches and Mach 0.82 high-speed cruise, the Model 85 will be the largest Learjet ever produced.
For its maiden flight, the Learjet 85 test vehicle one (FTV1) was flown by Capt. Ed Grabman, chief flight test pilot for the Bombardier Flight Test Center, and assisted by his copilot, Jim Dwyer, and flight test engineer Nick Weyers.
Upon landing at the Bombardier facility in Wichita, employees greeted the Learjet 85 and its test flight crew to celebrate the achievement. Check out the excitement of the Learjet 85's first flight in the video below.
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