A blog about Aviation, Aerospace Technology and Space Science.
Sunday, February 8, 2015
Aerospace Companies: Learjet
Learjet is an American company that is based out of Wichita, Kansas. Kansas was chosen over several other prospective spots due to a number of aerospace companies also based there, which meant a large supply of skilled labour for the company. Also, they got a 1.2 million dollar industrial revenue bond, which pretty much made Wichita their primary location. (Right): The current logo of Bombardier Learjet.
Learjet was started by William Powell Lear in the late 1950s. It was one of the first companies to build private business jets. its original name was the Swiss American Aircraft Corporation. The company's first plane was based on the aborted P-16 Swiss fighter, which was originally called the SAAC-23. Bill Junior later shifted the company to Wichita after claiming that things took too long to happen in Switzerland. The company was based out of a temporary office until their plant at the airport in Wichita was completed. On 7th February, 1963, the first Learjet plane's construction began. Over the next few years, the company changed its name from SAAC to Lear Jet Corporation and then to Lear Jet Industries. It became a publicly owned after its first name change. (Above left): The Learjet 23, the company's first production airplane.
In 1967, Learjet merged with Gates Aviation, under which many of its most successful models were produced. Some of them were the extremely popular Learjet 35, the Learjet 28, which was the first to have a complete fly-by-wire system and the Learjet 55, which set 6 time-to-climb records for its weight. (Right): A Learjet 45.
In 1990, Learjet was bought by Bombardier Aerospace, which still markets it under the name 'Bombardier Learjet Family'. The Learjet 45, 60 and the all-composite Learjet 85 have been launched by this corporation. Bombardier Learjet remains to this day one of the major private-airplane-manufacturing aerospace companies.