NBAA 2009: Bombardier unveils revised cockpit mock-up for Learjet 85

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Bombardier has unveiled at NBAA a revised cockpit mock-up of its Learjet 85 midsize jet that incorporates several new features including a hand tiller for steering.

The airframer unveiled its Learjet 85 mock-up at NBAA last year but made several changes before this year's show to incorporate design changes. Learjet 85 vice-president Ralph Acs says about 10% of the cockpit has been changed and the result is a cleaner cockpit with an easier to use layout, reduced pilot workload, improved situational awareness and better ergonomics.

Learjet 85 program director Larry Thimmesch says Bombardier had added a hand tiller and adjusted the location of several switches and sidewalls. He says the tiller will complement rudder steering at lower speeds. Rudder pedals were used for all steering in earlier Learjet models and there was no tiller included in the original Learjet 85 design.

bombardier learjet 85 cockpit bombardier
 © Bombardier

The changes to the Learjet 85 cockpit were made in response to the program's cockpit user group, one of three user groups with which Bombardier has been liaising in developing the new jet. Thimmesch says members of the cockpit user group, which is composed of Learjet customers, will have an opportunity to sit in the new cockpit at this year's show to make sure Bombardier "got it right and we interpreted their inputs right".

Thimmesch says the revised mock-up "will be 99% representative of the cockpit" in the actual aircraft. "The switch nomenclature is a little bit different," he says.

Bombardier is displaying the Learjet 85 mock-up at the static display at Orlando Executive airport. The all-composite Learjet 85, which features the Pro Line Fusion avionics suite, is scheduled to enter service in mid-2013.