Bombardier's Learjet 40 light business jet has entered service with the company's Flexjet fractional-ownership programme, as well as traditional corporate operators in Germany and the USA, meeting the schedule set in mid-2002.

Derived from the all-new, super-light Learjet 45, the low-risk, shorter-fuselage Learjet 40 received US certification in July last year, followed last month by European approval. With seating for six passengers, compared with eight in the Learjet 45, the aircraft replaces the out-of-production Learjet 31A as Bombardier's entry-level business jet. The Honeywell TFE731-20-powered Learjet 40 has a Mach 0.8 high-speed cruise, 51,000ft (15,500m) ceiling and 3,260km (1,760nm) range with full fuel and maximum payload.

The first five aircraft were delivered in January: two to Flexjet, two to US corporate operators and one to German operator Cirrus Aviation.

Source: Flight International