The Leajet is perhaps one of the best-known of all the so-called biz jet aircraft in our skies.
Despite there now being many different manufacturers of biz jet and props, the Learjet is synonymous with the iconic lifestyle of the rich and famous, with its sleek lines and ability to whisk people off around the world.
History of Learjet
The origins of the Learjet come from the 1950s, when developments for a fast military jet turned into a design for an executive transport aircraft.
The design was led by Bill Lear and his team in Switzerland, but moved to Wichita, KS, in 1962 and became the Lear Jet Corporation.
The first model was the Learjet 23 which flew on 7 October 1963, followed by the 24 in February 1966 and 25 in August 1966, both derivatives of the original.
The Learjet features a sleek fuselage, with T-tail and rear-mounted engines either side of the fuselage. Its wings were also inspired by the fighter jet origins, and featured wingtip fuel tanks.
Enter the Gates
Learjet merged with Gates Rubber Company in April 1967, who bought 60% of the shares. In 1969 it was merged with Gates Aviation Corporation to become the Gates Learjet Corporation.
The company would soon develop the Learjet 35, one of its most successful models, and achieve massive sales across America and the rest of the world in the emerging executive jet market.
Sale to Bombardier
Bombardier Aerospace of Canada purchased the Gates Learjet Corporation in 1990.
From this stage, all aircraft were named Bombardier Learjets, with the Learjet 60 following the same year, and Learjet 45 in 1995.
Despite its purchase by a Canadian company, production remained at the Wichita facility, where support is still offered today.
The last Learjet was produced in March 2022, following an announcement the previous year. Ongoing support still offered for remaining operators.
To date, the following Learjet models have been produced since the company’s inception in the 1960s, up to the final model in 2022.
Learjet 23 – 1964
Learjet 24 – 1966
Learjet 24B – 1968
Learjet 24D – 1970
Learjet 24E – 1976
Learjet 24F – 1976
Learjet 25 – 1967
Learjet 25B – 1970
Learjet 25C – 1970
Learjet 25D – 1976
Learjet 25G – 1980
Learjet 28 Longhorn – 1979
Learjet 31 – 1990
Learjet 31A – 1991
Learjet 35 – 1974
Learjet 35A – 1976
Learjet 36 – 1974
Learjet 36A – 1976
Learjet 40 – 2003
Learjet 45 – 1998
Learjet 55 Longhorn – 1981
Learjet 55B Longhorn – 1986
Learjet 55C Longhorn – 1987
Learjet 60 – 1993
Learjet 60XR – 2007
Learjet 70 – 2013
Learjet 75 – 2012
Learjet 85 – 2014
1 built; project cancelled.
Learjet is a legendary name in executive aircraft, or biz jets. Despite production having now ended, it will continue to be well known for many years to come, with aircraft likely to remain in service for at least another ten years.
Biz Jet Reference Guide
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This downloadable document details all known biz jet types, variants and manufacturers, with stats, production dates and numbers built, as well as pictures of each model.
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