A pioneer in the aerospace industry, Learjet Inc. builds high-performance business jets -- the limos of the sky. The company has produced more than 2,000 aircraft at its Wichita, Kansas, plant since its first jet rolled off the assembly line in 1964. Current Learjet models -- light business aircraft including the 40 XR, 45 XR, 60 XR and 85 -- tout superior cruise velocities, the highest operating ceilings, ascent rates and operating maximums, and competitive operating costs. In addition to private businesses, Learjet occasionally wins work with the US Air Force. The company has operated as a subsidiary of Canada's Bombardier since 1990.
Under Bombardier's wing, Learjet launched a mockup of its latest generation in narrow-body corporate aircraft - the Learjet 85 in 2013. The aircraft targets the midsize and super midsize business jet markets. It boasts an all-composite airframe, a larger cabin, a cruising speed of Mach 0.82, and a transcontinental range of up to 3,000 nautical miles. The Learjet 85 is also the company's first clean-sheet design in more than a decade.
In 2015, however, Bombardier announced the pause of its Learjet 85 business aircraft program. The pause followed a downward revision of Bombardier’s business aircraft market forecast, primarily due the continued weakness of the light aircraft category since the economic downturn. In conjunction with the pause, the company initiated workforce reductions.