Bombardier has launched the Learjet NXT, its first all-new business jet since the Challenger 300 was introduced in 1999. The full-scale mockup of new mid-size Learjet is to be unveiled in October 2008.

"Development of this all-new jet with a group of international collaborators continues to progress well," says Bombardier Aerospace president Pierre Beaudoin.

The Canadian company has not indentified its partners on the programme, including engine or avionics suppliers.

Bombardier Learjet NXT
                                                                                                           © Bombardier

Provisionally named the Learjet NXT, the new aircraft will have a stand-up cabin for eight passengers and is being designed for a high-speed cruise of Mach 0.82 and transcontinental range of up to 3,000nm (5,560km).

The aircraft will fit into the product line between the mid-size Learjet 60XR and super mid-size Challenger 300.  The updated Learjet 60XR, which recently entered service, has a maximum cruise speed of Mach 0.81 and range of 2,450nm.

The Learjet NXT will provide a larger cabin than any existing mid-size jet, says Bombardier. Competing aircraft include the Cessna Citation Sovereign, Gulfstream G150 and Hawker 900XP.

Bombardier Learjet NXT floorplan
                                                                                                        © Bombardier

Bombardier says is has more than 65 letters of intent for the new aircraft, which it expects to convert to firm orders over the coming months.

Final assembly and interior completion of the Learjet NXT will be performed in Wichita, Kansas alongside the Learjet 40XR light and 45XR superlight business jets as well as the 60XR.