Composite LearJet 85 to Have Collins Fusion, Airframe Manufacturing in Mexico


Learjet has selected the Collins Pro Line Fusion system of advanced integrated avionics for its new all-composite Model 85 being designed and built initially in conjunction with Grob. The company also announced that it has selected Pratt & Whitney PW307B engines rated at 6,100 pounds thrust each to power the large midsize jet.

After initial production of the composite airframe at Grob in Germany, full-scale manufacturing will move to Bombardier's facility in Querétaro, Mexico. Subassemblies of the airframe, plus wiring harnesses, will be shipped from Mexico to Learjet's factory in Wichita for final assembly, interior completion, flight test and customer delivery. Bombardier began operations in Querétaro in 2006 and currently employs more than 900 workers making electrical harnesses and structural components for several airplane models.

Collins Fusion avionics are being installed on Bombardier's Global ultra-long-range business jets, so experience from those airplanes should enhance development of the system for the Learjet 85. Large flat-panel displays, synthetic vision, and total integration of navigation and automatic flight control are hallmarks of the new Fusion system.

Learjet has had good experience with the Pratt 300 family engines on its Model 60, and the new PW307 turbofans selected for the new Model 85 promise even better fuel efficiency and lower emissions. Learjet and Pratt have also selected advanced brushless starter/generators from Innovative Power Solutions for the Model 85. Typically engines of this size use compressed air turbine starter motors and a separate generator. The power of the new electric starters eliminates the need for the air turbine and promises more efficient power generation once the engine is running.