Learjet 75

By Fred George fred_george@aviationweek.com
Source: Business & Commercial Aviation

We headed back to Wichita for a couple of touch and goes, followed by a full-stop landing. The long travel, trailing-link landing gear made for cushy landings and the wheel brakes were powerful, smooth and chatter-free.

Worth the Money?

The Learjet 75's B&CA sticker price is close to $14 million, so it's not the least expensive competitor in the light jet class. It's $4.5 million more costly than a typically equipped Embraer Phenom 300 or Cessna Citation CJ4. It's even $700,000 more expensive than the midsize Cessna Citation XLS+.

But Bombardier believes buyers will perceive the value of an aircraft that straddles the boundary between light jet and midsize business aircraft, having 2,000+ nm legs at long-range cruise, Mach 0.80 normal cruise speed and an APU as standard equipment.

Glance please at the accompanying Comparison Profile. The big spike on the chart represents tanks-full payload. It's 57% higher than the second-place Phenom 300 and 68% greater than the composite average of the group.

At 4,440 ft., standard day takeoff field length performance is competitive. Departing from B&CA's 5,000-ft. elevation, ISA+20C airport, the Learjet 75 stands out as a superb performer. But the aircraft does need somewhat more runway for takeoff on 600-nm trips. Speed and fuel efficiency remain two of its strongest selling points.

Its cabin is 2.5 ft. longer than competitive light jets and 15 in. longer than that of the Citation XLS+, so the Learjet 75 is the only light jet that can offer double club seating for eight passengers. It's also the only aircraft in its class with a flat floor.

While double club seating is standard, that configuration affords scant legroom if all seats are full. We recommend the seat tracking option that affords generous space in a single club section if only four passengers are aboard. One sore point of interest to chiropractors: The sidewall arm rails are higher than the armrests on the seats, so passengers' left and right forearms and shoulders aren't level.

Up front, pilots will find Bombardier's Vision cockpit, using Garmin G5000 avionics, a breeze to use compared with the Honeywell Primus 1000 gear in the Learjet 45XR.

Overall airport performance, especially at hot-and-high airports, is considerably better than that of the Learjet 45. It's still not as good as most other light jets, principally because of the aircraft's 68.9-lb./sq. ft. wing loading, which is much higher than that of most competitors. Then again, higher wing loading makes for a more comfortable ride in turbulence.

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