Bombardier is upgrading its Learjet 45 to offer higher performance. The new Learjet 45XR has a higher take-off weight to increase range and uprated engines to improve hot-and-high performance. The XR will cost $575,000 more than the basic 45's $9.18 million, but the 45 will stay in production.

Maximum take-off weight is increased by 450kg (1,000lb), which allows the aircraft to carry "a true eight passengers and full fuel" and gives the 45XR an 830km (450nm) range advantage over the rival Cessna Citation Excel, says Chidiac. The engines are uprated Honeywell TFE731-20BRs, providing a faster time to climb, higher cruise speeds and improved balanced field lengths at higher temperatures.

Both the 45 and 45XR receive a new interior, with increased leg room and greater seat width. The interior is restyled and maintainability is improved, says Chidiac. The latest Universal UNS-1E flight management system will be fitted.

Deliveries of full-up 45XRs will begin by the middle of next year. Existing and new Learjet 45 customers will be able to retrofit the performance upgrade later for the same $575,000 price tag. Chidiac believes charter, fractional and other "high-density" operators will prefer the XR.

Source: Flight International