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New Learjet 85 aircraft features all-composite structure design

Corporate aviation leader Bombardier Aerospace today announced it has selected Grob Aerospace to develop the all-composite structure of its new Learjet 85 aircraft, the next generation in Learjet excellence. Grob will also build the first three prototype aircraft for the program. In addition, the jet's official name, Learjet 85, was revealed today.

Launched on October 30, 2007 – with a provisional name – the new Learjet 85 aircraft will be the first Bombardier Aerospace jet to feature an all-composite structure and will be the first all-composite structure business jet designed for type certification under FAR Part 25.

"The Learjet 85 remains true to Learjet's commitment to innovation – featuring the best in leading technology, design and manufacturing," said Pierre Gabriel Côté, president, Bombardier Business Aircraft. "Grob Aerospace is one of the world's most experienced companies in the development and manufacture of composite aircraft structures. We are delighted to welcome their participation on this latest Learjet-designed aircraft."

An extraordinary advancement in next generation flight, the Learjet 85 aircraft's all-composite structure will allow Learjet designers to maximize cabin comfort while minimizing drag and improving performance. Exceptional strength-to-weight ratio, reduced maintenance and extended service life are key characteristics of all composite airframes and the ultra smooth surfaces of the carbon fiber structures permit superior aerodynamics. Other competitive advantages of composites include reduced structural part count and significantly less vulnerability to corrosion or fatigue damage than metal.

"Composite structures allow designers to optimize all aspects of the aircraft's internal cabin volume and exterior aerodynamic qualities, thus optimizing performance as well," said Niall Olver, chief executive officer, Grob Aerospace. "Since delivering our pioneering glider aircraft in the 1970s, Grob has delivered more than 3,500 aircraft that have flown over seven million hours on five continents. We look forward to building the first Learjet 85 prototype structures and growing our working relationship with Learjet. Work at Grob Aerospace on the Learjet 85 adds an exciting manufacturing dimension to the light business jets and trainer aircraft development and production activity already going on at our facilities."

The Learjet 85 aircraft's prototype structures will be manufactured at Grob Aerospace's facility in Tussenhausen-Mattsies, Germany, where Learjet design teams are currently on site as part of the joint conceptual design phase.

Proven composite technology and precision manufacturing

With over 37 years of history, Grob Aerospace has established a proven track record of excellence in applied composite aircraft technology and is a world leader in the field of design and production of composites.

Accuracy and precision are inextricably linked to the entire composite material production process, with respect to aircraft components. The use of precision molds is one of the numerous measures taken to guarantee the quality and efficiency required throughout the manufacturing process.

Building on legendary Learjet performance

True to its legendary heritage, the Learjet 85 aircraft is set to deliver the extraordinary performance, superior technology and exceptional value Learjet aircraft owners expect.

The clean-sheet Learjet aircraft targets a high-speed cruise of Mach 0.82 and a transcontinental range of up to 3,000 nautical miles (5,556 km)*. Designed to provide a larger, more comfortable cabin than any existing midsize aircraft, this jet will offer eight passengers a stand-up cabin built to ensure superior productivity and comfort.

Learjet is the first name in corporate aviation. Since acquiring Learjet Inc. in 1990, Bombardier Aerospace has carried forward the brand's proud legacy by launching eight high-performance and fuel-efficient aircraft.

Press release issued by Bombardier Learjet on January 22, 2008


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