Bombardier is continuing to keep the fate of the Learjet 85 programme in limbo
as the company focuses on other development priorities.
Despite accumulating more than 100 flight hours since March by the only flying prototype, Bombardier has no scheduled entry into service date or the composite-skinned midsize business jet.
Since development delayed beyond its year-end 2013 target, Bombardier has put the Learjet 85 last in a queue of priorities that include the CSeries and Global 7000/8000 jets.
“The Global 7000 an 8000 are a greater priority given the market demand and where we are with the programme,” says Beaudoin, addressing analysts and journalists on a third quarter earnings call on 30 October.
The lack of clarity has spawned rumours of certification problems with the Learjet 85, but Beaudoin rejected any lingering issues not related to demand and development priorities.
A few years ago there was a certification problem, but that issue was addressed, Beaudoin says. Beaudoin did not elaborate, but in early 2013 Bombardier attributed the first known programme delays to challenges building the composite structure of the Learjet 85.
“We don’t really have a problem with its certification” now, Beaudoin says. “We know how to make this aircraft, to manufacture it. We just need time an investments to complete the programme.”
The Global 7000 remains on track or certification in 2016, he says.