Bombardier’s Learjet 75 Liberty Aircraft

When it comes to the fate of the Learjet brand, there’s a lingering question: will the company that revived it be the one to say goodbye?

Bombardier faced this query when it shelved the Learjet 85 program in 2015 after investing $1.4 billion. Today, only the Learjet 75 remains in production, crafted from the airframe of the 1995 model.

Learjet 75 Liberty

The current Learjet 75, an upgraded version of the 45, is the sole survivor in Bombardier’s lineup, being produced at a slow pace of just one per month. In stark contrast, competitors like Embraer, Pilatus, and Textron saw nearly 180 deliveries collectively in 2019.

Bombardier's Learjet 75 Liberty
Source: Google | Bombardier’s Learjet 75 Liberty

Bombardier aims to change this with the Learjet 75 Liberty, a new variant of the 75. The Liberty trims certain features and standard equipment, including two passenger seats, but comes at a significantly reduced price of $9.9 million compared to the original 75’s $13.8 million.

However, industry analysts and longtime Learjet customers have voiced concerns. Flexjet chairman Kenn Ricci remarked, “All good things must come to an end,” as Bombardier, laden with debt, underwent major organizational changes. Over the past year, Bombardier shed its turboprop, commercial jet, flight training, and commercial rail businesses to manage its debt.

Learjet 75 Liberty interior
Source: Google | Learjet 75 Liberty interior

This move allows Bombardier to focus exclusively on its business jet division, which includes the Learjet brand. Alongside Challenger and Global business aircraft, Bombardier’s business jet division reported revenues of $5.6 billion, with CEO Alain Bellemare describing it as a $7 billion enterprise with a substantial order backlog.

However, the fate of the Learjet brand remains uncertain. Bombardier had previously saved the brand in 1990, revamping models like the Learjet 45. The Learjet 75, introduced in 2013, boasted updated avionics, engines, winglets, and interior. Its Honeywell TFE731-40BR engines provided improved performance, while the Bombardier Vision cockpit featured advanced technology.

Learjet 75 Liberty sit
Source: Google | Learjet 75 Liberty sit

Despite these improvements, the Learjet 75 faced challenges in its price and operating costs, competing with more affordable options certified under less stringent regulations. Fleet orders from operators like Flexjet kept the production line alive, but by late 2017, the aircraft’s potential dwindled to one monthly delivery.

To counter this decline, Bombardier introduced the Learjet 75 Liberty in 2019. The Liberty eliminates certain features, offering a lighter aircraft with a 40-nautical-mile increased range of 2,080. However, it also has drawbacks like lacking an auxiliary power unit.

Liberty caters to a specific market segment and aims to enhance Learjet’s prospects. Yet, the question remains whether Bombardier can rejuvenate the brand fully or if the market’s support will fall short.

Key Details of the 2020 Learjet 75 Liberty:

  1. Price: $9.9 million
  2. Crew: 2
  3. Passengers: 6–7
  4. Range: 2,080 nautical miles
  5. Maximum Cruising Speed: 464 knots
  6. Service Ceiling: 51,000 feet
  7. Maximum Takeoff Weight: 21,500 pounds
  8. Takeoff Distance at MTOW: 4,440 feet
  9. Cabin:
  10. Height: 4 feet 11 inches
  11. Width: 5 feet 1 inch
  12. Length: 19 feet 10 inches
  13. Baggage:
  14. External: 50 cubic feet
  15. Internal: 15 cubic feet

In conclusion, Bombardier’s efforts with the Learjet 75 Liberty highlight their commitment to sustaining the iconic brand. Despite challenges, the future remains open for Learjet’s legacy in the aviation industry.

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