““[Bill Gates] has been historically one of my best supporters…One of my favorite e-mails he ever sent me…I proposed this crazy project. And he sent back this two-line response: ‘This has got to be the craziest thing you’ve ever suggested. Please proceed.’” ”
Next-Generation Learjet Will Be Bigger, Faster
Bombardier's next Learjet will be bigger and faster than any of its forebears, the
company has announced. The 10-seat, stand-up-cabin Learjet NXT will fill the market gap between the midsize Learjet 60XR and super-midsize Challenger 300.
The Canadian airframer is working on the twinjet "with a group of international
collaborators," though a spokesperson said "most of the [NXT's] principal activities will take place at Learjet's facility in Wichita, including final assembly, interior completions, aircraft delivery, contracts, sales and flight test." No suppliers have yet been named.
Preliminary performance data include a Mach 0.82 maximum cruise speed and 3,000-nm range. Bombardier started offering the airplane to customers in September and said it has received more than 65 letters of intent to buy it. The aircraft will be priced somewhere between the $13.3 million Learjet 60XR and $21 million Challenger 300.
A "public unveiling" of the model is scheduled for next October.