Bombardier has built the first all-composite manufacturing validation unit for the Learjet 85’s pressure fuselage section. The MVU was built in Montreal using “actual production tooling”, says the airframer. The unit will be used to validate the design concepts, manufacturing processes and quality as the programme advances towards its full production phase, set for later this year.
Around 45,000lb (20,412 kg) of production tooling will be transferred this month to the Learjet 85 manufacturing facility in Querétaro, Mexico, where a second MVU will be built. The 60,960m2 (200,000ft2) facility will house production of Learjet 85’s composite fuselage and 21m (70ft) wing. The manufacturing centre already produces several major components for Bombardier including Challenger 850 fuselages and Global Express rear fuselages.
Meanwhile Bombardier has acquired a Learjet 85 full-flight simulator from training partner CAE to help refine the aircraft’s design and flight characteristics. The FFS will be housed at Bombardier’s aircraft training centre in Montreal. Customer training on the new simulator is to begin in the first quarter of 2013 ahead of Learjet 85 service entry later that year. The eight-seat, Pratt & Whitney Canada PW307B-powered aircraft is Bombardier’s largest, fastest and longest range Learjet to date.