The new Bombardier Learjet 60 XR yesterday successfully executed a rigorous two-hour, 20-minute first flight. The aircraft combines one of the most advanced flight decks in corporate aviation with the superior performance and speed of the legendary Learjet family.
The first Learjet 60 XR (serial number 60-294) departed Eastern Iowa Airport at Cedar Rapids under sunny and windy conditions at 1:47 p.m. and returned on schedule at 4:07 p.m. CST. It achieved a maximum first flight altitude of 17,500 feet (5,334 m) and a maximum true airspeed of 310 knots (357 mph; 575 km/h). Carrying 5,300 pounds (2,409 kg) of fuel, the weight at takeoff was 20,000 pounds (9,071 kg).
The aircraft’s maiden flight was dedicated to testing the general functionality of the Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 avionics suite. System operations were exercised specifically during multiple approaches. The three-man crew, which included Capt. Douglas May, a 15-year career pilot, flight test engineer Bernie Hayes and co-pilot Keith Kankelfitz of Rockwell Collins, conducted specific testing to evaluate the system’s integrated displays, including the edge-to-edge ADIs (Attitude Deviation Indicators), and the FMS (Flight Management Systems) to avionics interface.
The integral chart features, capable of displaying electronic charts, were evaluated during the approaches back into the Eastern Iowa Airport.
“With its large displays and improved access to flight information, the new avionics system certainly proved its worth, making it simpler to stay connected with the world outside the aircraft,” reported Capt. May. “The ADIs provided an easy-to-interpret reference for all aircraft attitudes. The FMS-to-avionics interface successfully delivered more critical flight information with greater ease; and chart operations were intuitive and provided exceptional situational awareness.”
State-of-the-art avionics system
The Learjet 60 XR aircraft, the latest evolution of the world’s fastest, highest flying midsize jet, retains the unbeatable combination of value and high-speed performance of its Learjet 60 heritage, while adding a fully modernized avionics system, together with a cabin redesigned for style, comfort and functionality.
The Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 avionics suite features the latest flight deck design, human factors concepts and system technology, equipping pilots with immediate, intuitive access to vital flight information. The integrated avionics package, with the latest edge-to-edge technology, includes four 8-inch by 10-inch (20.3 cm by 25.4 cm) high-resolution liquid crystal display adaptive flight screens, boosting the overall display area by an impressive 75 per cent, and dramatically increasing the quality of the visuals. The integrated flight information system, which includes accessing electronic charts as standard equipment, allows pilots to view approach plates and airport diagrams.
The totally redesigned cabin features five floorplans, stand-up cabin, larger galley, brighter and more spacious lavatory, new cabin management system with three-inch LCD control modules and ports for laptops, iPods and other audio/video equipment. In addition LED lighting is featured throughout the cabin.
Certification of the flight deck by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration is expected to take place in the third quarter of 2006, with certification by Transport Canada and the European Aviation Safety Agency expected to follow shortly thereafter. The first Learjet 60 XR aircraft is currently on schedule to enter service in the first quarter of 2007.
A world-leading manufacturer of innovative transportation solutions, from regional aircraft and business jets to rail transportation equipment, Bombardier Inc. is a global corporation headquartered in Canada. Its revenues for the fiscal year ended Jan. 31, 2006, were $14.7 billion U.S. and its shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (BBD). News and information are available at www.bombardier.com
Note to Editors
The following information on the Learjet 60 XR business jet and Learjet 60 series program is available on the Bombardier Web site at www.bombardier.com:
- Learjet 60 XR first flight photos;
- Learjet 60 XR backgrounder;
- Learjet 60 XR previous announcements;
- Learjet 60 series overview.
Bombardier, Learjet 60 and Learjet 60 XR are trademarks of Bombardier Inc. or its subsidiaries.