50 Years of Learjets

A look back through the 50-year history of Learjets.

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With its first flight on October 7th, 1963, the Learjet now celebrates 50 years of shaping the business jet industry. Thanks to Bill Lear's vision, the Learjet has become synonymous with "bizjet."
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Inspired by the design of a proposed Swiss fighter jet, the Learjet 23 saw its first delivery on October 13, 1964, and became the basis for a long lineup of Learjets. (Photo by NASA)
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Created as an improved version of the Learjet 23, the Learjet 24 was designed to accept up to 13,500 pounds gross weight, an increase from the 23's limit of 12,500 pounds. The Learjet 24 became the first business jet certified under FAR-25 as a result. ****(Photo by NASA)
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The Learjet 25 was similar to the Learjet 24 but was 4 feet 2 inches longer and allowed for three additional passengers. (Photo shows a Learjet 25D at Centennial Airport.)
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The Learjet 28/29, based on the Learjet 25, was the first production jet to utilize winglets. (Photo by NASA)
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The Learjet 35 and 36 were a series of multi-role business jets and military transport aircraft. They carried the designation C-21A when used by the United States Air Force, as shown in this photo.
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The Learjet 45 first flew on October 7, 1995, the anniversary of the first flight of the Learjet 23. This super-light sized business jet was produced by Bombardier Aerospace.
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The Learjet 60 is a mid-size cabin, medium-range business jet that was certified in 1993. After a temporary production pause, Bombardier launched a new variant called the Learjet 60XR in 2005.
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Upgraded versions of the Learjet 40 and 45, the Learjet 70 and Learjet 75 feature new avionics, winglets, and all new interiors. View more photos of the Learjet 70 and 75 here.
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Launched in 2007, the Learjet 85, which falls in between Bombardier's midsize Learjet 60XR and its Challenger 300 super-midsize jets, will be the first composite structure business jet designed for type certification under FAR-25. It is expected to have a high-speed cruise goal of Mach 0.82. This year a Learjet 85 mockup made an appearance on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, California.