Jets in July
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Learjet 31A, 40(XR), 45(XR) & 60(XR)
The Learjet 31A, announced in 1990, replaced the Learjet 31 with several modifications, with the biggest change in the flight deck. The Lear 31A comes equipped with a Bendix King avionics system. The control board is configured to make the pilot’s job as straightforward as possible, so systems and circuit breakers are grouped together by function.
Dual Garret TFE 731-2-4-3B engines provide 3,500 pounds of thrust each. At its maximum takeoff weight (MTOW), the Lear 31A can take off at sea level in 3,490 feet. The 31A can also reach an altitude of 47,000 feet in 28 minutes. The 31A was revised in 2000 with increased takeoff and landing weights and the R134A system replacing the R12 freon air conditioning.
The Learjet 31A has excellent in-flight performance with rapid acceleration and rapid response capabilities. The Lear 31A is known for its smooth flights and good performance even outside the recommended flight envelope.
Development of the Lear 45 jet was announced in 1992, and the LJ45 first went into production in 1995. While the Learjet 45 was still in the design phase, the FAA stiffened the standards for anti-ice systems, so the LJ45 had the most advanced anti-ice system of any light or mid-sized jet. Bleed air load balancing software increases the engines’ total thrust and improves the rate of climb while the ice removal system is in use. The software distributes the bleed air system between the two engines so they perform uniformly.
The cruise performance sets the Lear 45 apart from other light and midsized jets. Learjet 45 handles exceptionally well at cruise altitude. It burns 198 pounds of fuel per hour and can complete a 1000-nm trip in about 2 hours and 18 minutes. The Lear 45 taxis and lands smoothly thanks to its trailing link landing gear.
The Honeywell Primus 1000 avionics system comes standard and includes 4 large-format EFIS and a 3D approach navigation system through a Universal UNS-1C FMS. For the first time in a Learjet, there are no restrictions on the lateral and vertical approach guidance simulations.
The Lear 45XR features important upgrades compared to the Lear 45, including higher takeoff weights, faster cruise speeds, and faster climb rates. Small increases in legroom, seat width, and galley storage also make the difference in this Lear 45 upgrade. The interior of the 45XR was designed to offer the most usable space possible so passengers don’t feel claustrophobic. The Lear 45XR can fly up to 1999 nm nonstop and cruise at 437 knots.
The Learjet 40 was developed from the Lear 45 and replaces the discontinued Lear 31A jet. Lear 40 has a shorter fuselage than the Lear 45 but shares its Honeywell Primus 1000 avionics suite. The Lear 40’s cabin is the biggest of its class at 17.7 feet long.
The Lear 40 has excellent range/payload flexibility and climbs quickly to elevations far above most air traffic and bad weather. It can fly up to 1,954 nm nonstop, a range which allows nonstop flights from Chicago to San Francisco or Singapore to Hong Kong. At its MTOW of 20,350 pounds, the LJ40 can take off in just 4,250 feet from a sea level runway. The fuel consumption remains relatively economical due to an aerodynamic design which reduces drag and the two Honeywell 20AR engines.
Carbon brakes and wing spoilers provide soft landings. “Delta fins” on the vertical stabilizer increase stability, allowing for better control in stalls.
The Learjet 40XR was released in 2006, improving on the original Lear 40’s hot-and-high performance, climb rate, and estimated time en route. The 40XR shares the cabin size of the Learjet 40. Lear 40XR flies up to 1,617 nm nonstop and can take off in 5,090 feet at high altitudes. At its MTOW of 21,000 pounds, the Learjet 40XR can takeoff in just 4,680 feet from a sea level runway.
Introduced in 1993, the Learjet 60 features the biggest cabin in the Learjet line, holding 7 to 8 passengers. The cabin is designed to have the most space where it counts: elbow room for seated passengers.
The Lear 60’s strongest feature is its cruise performance. The LJ60 climbs to a cruise level of 43,000 feet in less than 14 minutes at its MTOW of 23,500 pounds. This private jet boasts a transcontinental range of 2,250 nm with 6 or 7 passengers, and average fuel consumption is 203 gallons per hour.
The aircraft uses NASA/Boeing Tranair computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software to locate the points on a jet that cause excessive drag, which results in a 4% reduction in overall drag for the Lear 60. It also has very heavy wing loading, resulting in very smooth flights, even when flying through turbulent areas. The new speed-proportionate nosewheel steering system makes the jet easier to handle on the ground, and stronger wheel brakes assist in landings and ground control.
Launched in 2005, the Learjet 60XR features a more space-efficient interior and the Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 advanced avionics suite. Its wings feature the drag-reducing winglets prevalent on the older “Longhorn” Learjets. The 60XR features a digital steer-by-wire nosewheel and an electrically-heated windshield, all recognizable design improvements over previous Learjets. The Lear 60XR offers a larger galley, 5 different floor plans, and an aft baggage area increased to 59 cubic feet.
Fractional Agreement Series
We recently completed our series on navigating contracts and agreements for fractional jet ownership on our blog. The final installment focuses on ancillary agreements that make up most fractional programs’ document package. Agreements covered in this blog post include the fractional aircraft dry-lease and exchange agreement, the limited power of attorney, the corporate resolution, and the warranty bill of sale and assignment.
Our blog is written by our Vice President of Administration, David Beach, who previously served as the Senior Vice President of Contracts at NetJets. Subscribe to our blog for more know-how & how-tos from our fractional ownership expert.