Lear 85 takes flight

The Lear 85 lifts off on its maiden flight on April 9. (Bombardier)
The Lear 85 lifts off on its maiden flight on April 9. (Bombardier)

The first Bombardier Learjet 85 made its maiden flight from the company’s Wichita facility on April 9.

The aircraft, designated FTV1, took off at 8.19am CST and flew for two hours and 19 minutes, reaching an altitude of 30,000 feet and a speed of 250kts. The company says “all flight controls were exercised with the systems and aircraft performing as expected.”

“The first flight of the Learjet 85 aircraft was a very proud and thrilling moment for all Bombardier employees,” Bombardier Business Aircraft President, Eric Martel said in a statement. “Incredible hard work and dedication from our people went into this aircraft development program. This includes our sites in Wichita, Queretaro and Montreal, as well as our facility in Belfast, Northern Ireland. 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.”

The Lear 85 is the largest and fastest Learjet to date. Powered by two  6,100lb thrust P&WC PW307B engines it is designed to cruise at M0.82 with a range of “approximately” 3,000nm.