The first wing shipment for the Learjet 85 jet has arrived at the Bombardier Wichita assembly line and is now in the process of being readied for mating to the fuselage of Flight Test Vehicle 1. The Learjet 85 is the first business jet with both fuselage and wing built primarily from carbon fibre composites.
The new composite structure will improve performance and minimise drag through smoother aerodynamics, the composite structure will also increase passenger comfort by allowing for the use of complex curves in the aircraft cross-section, thinner wall thickness to maximise cabin space. An airframe made using composite materials will also require less maintenance and is easier to repair.
Alongside the arrival of the first complete aircraft wing, the fuselage for Flight Test Vehicle 2 has successfully completed its integrity inspection. Installation of the nose, bulkheads, floor, windshield and door surrounds are scheduled to begin in the coming days. Once complete the main fuselage will be shipped to the final assembly line.
Wings for the complete aircraft static test article are expected to arrive from Querétaro by the end of November as preparations for static ground testing continues.
Ralph Acs, Vice President and General Manager, Learjet.
Seeing the wings arrive for our first Learjet 85 test aircraft is a wonderful moment. A moment that could not have happened without the hard work and dedication of every single person involved in this project, this development program is gaining ever more momentum as we tirelessly work towards first flight and the first customer delivery.