Learjet is one of America’s oldest airplane manufacturers and is known for pioneering the luxury business jet since the first Learjet took flight in 1963. As a result, the company has also been credited with popularizing private business aviation travel.
The company was founded in the 1950s by William Powell Lear as the Swiss American Aviation Corporation. It was named after its location at the time Altenrhein, Switzerland. The company was later relocated to Wichita, Kansas, and renamed Learjet.
The design of the first Learjet was based on the FFA P-16, a canceled Swiss fighter aircraft. The Learjet 23 looked much like the fighter jet it was based on with wingtip tanks and a sharply slanted nose, two design traits that would become defining features on future Learjets.
Fast forward 50 years, Learjet is now owned by Bombardier and continues to produce industry-leading aircraft. But it is no longer the only player on the field, competition from brands like Embraer, Textron and Pilatus are taking away market share from the dominant brand.
From 2003 to 2011, the Learjet 40 and 45 were two of the most popular light business jets in existence, selling close to 700 units combined. But sales were slowing because the aircraft were beginning to show their age, and competitors offered more attractive packages. This prompted Bombardier to announce their replacements.
Development and Design
The Learjet 70 and 75 were announced in 2012, and are the direct successors to the Learjet 40 and 45, respectively. Engineers wanted to keep development costs low and made no changes. As a result, at first glance, it’s hard to distinguish the old from the new.
The interior of the Learjet 70 and 75 received two major upgrades. The first is the new Vision flight deck is based on the Garmin G5000 avionics suite and provides a host of features to make flying the aircraft easier. Pilots control the system using three large touch screens which are completely customizable. Additional features like Automatic Flight Guidance and Garmin Synthetic Vision Technology improve situational awareness and safety.
The second upgrade is a larger, redesigned interior. Measuring 4.9 ft (1.5 m) wide and 5.1 ft (1.55 m) high, it provides passengers enough shoulder and head space and makes moving through the cabin easier and more comfortable. New seats and fittings improve the quality of the ride for passengers.
The changes aren’t limited to the interior, engineers at Bombardier have made changes to squeeze out the most from the Learjet 70 and 75. The most obvious change is the canted winglets that have been brought over from Bombardier’s Global 7500 models.
The iconic slant nose section of the Learjet now weighs 200 lbs less, which is important because these models are overweight compared to the competition. The changes have increased the range of both models by four percent and increased aerodynamic efficiency by two percent.
In 2020, Bombardier released a budget version of the Learjet 75 named Liberty. This version lacked a few key features like the lavatory sink and the auxiliary power unit.
The Final Chapter
In February 2021, Bombardier announced that it had discontinued the development of the Learjet 85. Later in the year, it announced the discontinuation of all Learjet models to focus on the Bombardier Global 7500 and 8000 models which had better sales.
To many in the aviation industry, this didn’t come as much of a surprise. The upgrade from model 40 and 45 to model 70 and 75 was a minor one, just enough to keep customers interested and to become level with the competition.
The last Learjets in production were the Learjet 70 and 75 which entered production in 2013 and the Learjet 75 Liberty which was first delivered to customers in October 2020.
Bombardier Learjet 70 and 75 Specifications
The specifications of the Learjet are as follows:
|Parameter||Learjet 70||Learjet 75|
|Length||56 ft 0 in (17.1 m)||58 ft 0 in (17.7 m)|
|Height||14 ft 0 in (4.3 m)|
|Wing Span||50 ft 11 in (15.5 m)|
|Wing Area||309 ft² (28.7 m²)|
|Cabin Length||17 ft 8 in (5.39 m)||19 ft 10 in (6.04 m)|
|Cabin Width (Max)||5 ft 1 in (1.56)|
|Cabin Height||4 ft 11 in (1.50 m)|
|Cabin Volume||364 ft3 (10.3 m3)|
|Maximum Ramp Weight||21,750 lbs (9,866 kg)|
|Maximum Takeoff Weight||21,500 lbs (9,752 kg)|
|Maximum landing Weight||19,200 lbs (8,709 kg)|
|Zero Fuel Weight||16,000 lbs (7,257 kg)||16,500 lbs (7,484 kg)|
|Basic Operating Weight||13,715 lbs (6,221 kg)||13,890 lb (6,300 kg)|
|Maximum Payload||2,285 lbs (1,036 kg)||2,610 lbs (1,184 kg)|
|Fuel Capacity||6,062 (2,750 kg)|
|Maximum Thrust||3,850 lbf (17.1 kN)|
|Service Ceiling||51,000 ft (15,545 m)|
|MTOW Cruise Altitude||45,000 ft (13,716 m)|
|Cabin Pressurization||9.4 psi (0.65 bar)|
|Cabin Altitude @ FL450||6,450 ft (1,965 m)|
|Cabin Altitude @ FL510||8,000 ft (2,400 m)|
|Wing Loading||69.00 lb/ft² (336.9 kg/m²)|
|Takeoff Distance (SL, ISA, Typical)||4,440 ft (1,353 m)|
|Landing Distance (SL, ISA, Typical)||2,325 ft (709 m)|
|Wake Turbulence Category||M|
|Range||2,060 nm (2,371 mi, 3,815 km)||2,040 nm (2,350 mi, 3,780 km)|
|Maximum Operating Mach||Mach 0.81 (540 kts, 621 mph, 1000 kmph)|
|Cruise Speed||Mach 0.76 (506 kts, 583mph, 938 kmph)|
|Engine||Honeywell TFE731-40BR Turbine|
|Auxiliary Power Unit||Honeywell RE-100(LJ)|
|Avionics||Garmin G5000 Based Vision Flight Deck|
|Weather Radar||Solid State|
Bombardier Learjet 70 and 75 Performance and Handling
The Learjet 70 and 75 are now equipped with more powerful Honeywell TFE731-40BR turbofan engines that produce 3,850 lbf (17.1 kN) each, for a total thrust of 7,700 lbf (34.2 kN). The thrust is enough to accelerate the Learjet 70 and 75, both of which have an MTOW of 21,500 lbs (9,752 kg) to a top speed of Mach 0.81 (540 kts, 621 mph, 1000 kmph).
The takeoff distance has also been reduced by 600 ft (183 m), a significant improvement from the previous generation. The engines are also equipped with thrust reversers that allow the aircraft to come to a complete stop after 2,325 ft (709 m). Fuel consumption has also reduced by four percent from the last generation, despite the uptick in thrust. Finally, the added thrust has helped increase high-density altitude performance by six percent over the Learjet 40XR and 45XR.
The pair can also reach a service ceiling of 51,000 ft (15,545 m), but Bombardier says that the aircraft operates the best at the cruise altitude of 45,000 ft (13,716 m) at the cruise speed of Mach 0.76 (506 kts, 583mph, 938 kmph). During cruise flight, the engines of the Learjet burn around 500 lbs/hr, which allows both models to fly just over 2,000 nm each.
When you compare the two aircraft to their competitors, they are heavier and burn more fuel, but as a result, can carry more and fly faster. However, the range is sacrificed to get that extra performance out of the engine. Because of this, competing aircraft tend to be cheaper to operate than the Learjet 70 and 75.
Thanks to its fighter-like design, most Learjet aircraft have been responsive and well-behaved, the same goes for these two models. They fly exactly like their predecessors while being more aerodynamically efficient thanks to the new wing upgrades.
Single-engine performance on both the model 70 and model 75 is impeccable, because of the effort that Bombardier has put in to ensure that the aircraft reaches Part 25 standards.
Bombardier Learjet 70 and 75 Maintenance Schedule
The Honeywell TFE731-40BR turbofan engines on these models are known for being extremely reliable and powerful. This is especially true for the Learjet 70 and 75 because the engines are de-rated, improving longevity and reducing maintenance.
The Line Maintenance Manual of the TFE731-40BR engines states that the engine has to have its Major Periodic Inspection (MPI) at 3,000 hours and its Core Zone Inspection (CZI) at 6,000 hours. If the engines have been kept up to date with all the service bulletins, then the MPI will increase by 500 hours to 3,500 and the CZI will increase by 1,000 hours to 7,000 hours.
If you’re unable to get your engines into service in time, which isn’t cause for concern because all Honeywell TFE731 engines can overfly their MPI by 100 hours and the CZI by 200 hours.
Both the Learjet 70 and 75 are certified under FAA Part 25 regulations which are the rules that jetliners have to abide by and are an overall higher standard than the Part 23 regulations that most of the competition adheres to. To receive Part 25 certification the aircraft meet higher standards for bird strikes, rotor protection, ice testing, flight control redundancy, emergencies, and engine failures.
Both the Learjet 70 and 75 have 600-hour fixed inspections, which allows for plenty of flying before maintenance downtime and fewer inspections which reduces costs. The models are also designed to be easy to maintain, so downtime is minimal as well.
The biggest and most detailed inspection in the life of any Learjet occurs at the 12-year mark. All major components and systems of the aircraft are thoroughly checked and brought back to nearly brand-new functionality. This includes the airframe, landing gear, flight control system, fuel system, hydraulics, and all electronics.
Bombardier has teamed up with Lufthansa Technik to provide maintenance services for their family of aircraft.
Bombardier Learjet 70 and 75 Price
The Learjet 70 and 75 are no longer in production and orders for brand-new aircraft were last placed in 2015. In January 2019, the Learjet 70 started at $11.3 million, while its large counterpart – the Learjet 75 – started at $13.8 million.
The company also released a cheaper variant of the Learjet 75 named the Learjet 75 Liberty which was listed at only $9.9 million. Significantly cheaper than the original, but the trade-off was a few key features that made the original attractive.
Bombardier Learjet 70 and 75 Features
The brand-new interior of the Learjet 70 and 75 seats seven and nine passengers, respectively. Both aircraft come with a belted lavatory with a sink, the only model missing a sink is the budget Liberty model.
Inside the Learjet 70, the first two rows are club seats with foldaway tray tables that allow passengers to work while flying, while the last row has the same seats in a standard configuration. The Learjet 75 has two sets of club seating in the standard configuration.
Each seat except the one next to the emergency exit comes with its 7-inch infotainment screen and the entire cabin has a common 12-inch monitor located at the forward bulkhead. The emergency seat has a 4.3-inch monitor. Sound is delivered via a system of transducers.
Bombardier Learjet 70 and 75 Resale Value
In 2018, the market price for a pre-owned Learjet 70 was $7 million. The Learjet community is fiercely loyal to the brand and it’s often impossible to find these aircraft for sale. During our search, there was only one Learjet 75 for sale in the Americas and the price was not posted.
Bombardier Learjet 70 and 75 Operating Costs
There are numerous costs associated with owning any aircraft, and even more so for private business jets. For private jets, costs like management services and crew salaries have to be taken into account, these services can greatly increase the cost of operating these aircraft.
The following cost breakdown is an estimate and does not reflect the purchase price of the aircraft or depreciation.
There are two types of costs that operators have to take into consideration. Fixed costs and variable costs.
Fixed costs remain the same regardless of the number of hours the aircraft is flown. If the plane is parked in the hangar, or if the plane is flying daily, these costs aren’t affected.
The fixed cost breakdown for the Learjet 70 and 75 is as follows:
|Fixed Cost||Annual Expenditure|
A jet management service might seem like an unnecessary expense, but in the long run, it can save money, and time and keep the owner isolated from the hassles of day-to-day operations. A jet management service is nearly essential if the aircraft is being rented out.
Management companies often find customers, manage flights, and ensure the operation is within regulation. Management companies often develop a custom safety management system for aircraft. The system will ensure that airworthiness is maintained and that flight operations are conducted safely and without unnecessary risks.
Maintaining airworthiness takes a lot of effort. The owner has to be aware of service bulletins, and advisory circulars, and ensure the aircraft has all inspections and preventative maintenance conducted promptly. Jet management services are usually partnered with trusted maintenance providers.
Securing both a crew is time-consuming and difficult. Management services source, vet, hire and train professionals to operate the aircraft. They will also find an appropriate insurance policy for the type of operation and ensure that the owner is not being charged for unnecessary policy additions.
Liberty Jet.com quotes the average cost for a jet management service for a Learjet 75 at $48,000 per annum.
An aircraft can be stored in one of two ways, it can be tied down on the ramp or be stored in a hangar.
Tie-down storage is the cheapest and least secure way to park/store an aircraft. The aircraft is just chocked and secured using straps on the ramp. There is no protection from nature, debris, or other potential hazards such as collisions with airport vehicles or other aircraft. The owner will simply pay for the rented space based on either the area used or the weight of the aircraft and the length of time it was used for.
Hangar storage is what most private aircraft owners opt for, as it drastically reduces the chances of the aircraft being damaged by third parties or nature. However, renting hangar space is expensive and it quickly becomes a significant part of the annual cost. The average cost of a hangar depends on two factors, location, and congestion.
In a state like North Dakota, renting hangar space will be significantly cheaper than renting hangar space in an airport in New York. Similarly, a hangar at an under-utilized airport will be cheaper than one at a busy airport.
Liberty Jet.com estimates that the Learjet 75 will cost an average of $33,196 per annum.
Equipping your aircraft with an experienced flight crew is important. An experienced flight crew increases the safety factor of the operation greatly, and can also improve the level of comfort that the passengers experience. For these Learjet models, a crew of three is usually the minimum, two pilots and a flight attendant.
However, experience isn’t cheap. On average the flight crew of a Learjet 75 will cost $243,982 a year, which makes it the most expensive fixed cost on the list.
Your flight crew will require training to maintain their type rating and stay current. This can come in the form of instrument proficiency checks or bi-annual proficiency checks. These checks could either be done in a simulator or the aircraft itself, the latter is the more expensive option, but simulators aren’t always available or accessible.
The average training cost for a flight crew of a Learjet 75 is $39,956 per annum.
An insurance policy for a business jet usually covers a large range of scenarios. Usually, an aircraft insurance policy only has two types of coverage, liability coverage, and optional hull loss coverage.
Liability coverage covers the policyholder’s liability for damage caused to persons and property as a direct result of the aircraft’s operation. Liability coverage is mandatory by law and is the minimum level of insurance an aircraft has to have. Most coverages have a liability limit per passenger.
For a Learjet 75, the standard liability coverage is between $1,000,000 and $500,000,000 per event, and the usual liability limit per passenger ranges between $100,000 to $1,000,000, this value is included in the total liability policy limit.
For business aircraft, a standard policy will have both of the above coverages, but will also add on medical coverage, and cover legal defense fees for the policyholder in the case of a lawsuit. Other fringe coverage options are trip interruption, emergency landing, temporary replacement parts, and more.
Miscellaneous Fixed Costs
These are fixed costs that don’t fit into any of the other budgeted categories. Miscellaneous fixed costs are things like avionics and chart updates and other smaller costs that are oftentimes infrequent and unforeseen as well.
Variable costs are directly proportional to the number of hours flown, therefore variable cost is often calculated as an hourly expense. There are four main variable costs, fuel, maintenance, engine overhaul, landing and handling fees, and miscellaneous variable costs.
For this cost breakdown, we will assume that the aircraft operates 400 hours per annum. After flying for 400 hours, the yearly variable cost for a Learjet 75 is $1,027,209.
The cost breakdown is as follows:
|Fixed Cost||Annual Expenditure|
|Fuel @ $7.23 per gal||$575,508|
|Crew, Handling, and Landing Fees||$80,000|
|Miscellaneous Variable Cost||$10,000|
Fuel is the single largest cost involved with the operation of a powered aircraft, it’s why manufacturers and airlines are obsessed with optimizing fuel efficiency.
The Learjet 70 and 75’s two Honeywell TFE731-40BR turbine engines burn roughly 250 gph during climb and 200 gph during cruise flight. For calculation purposes, we will assume that the extra fuel burnt by the climb will be mitigated during the descent, making the total fuel burn 200 gph.
The national average for a gal of Jet-A1 is currently $7.23. This brings the hourly cost of fuel to $1,438.77 and the yearly cost to $575,508.
The more an aircraft is utilized the higher the wear and tear. To mitigate this and to be legally compliant the aircraft has to be inspected and maintained at regular intervals. The Part 25 certification of the Learjet ensures that the aircraft can fly more hours between inspections, but a caveat is that maintenance is usually more expensive.
The Learjet 70 and 75 follow the same maintenance schedule and have to undergo an inspection every 600 hours, which is every one and a half years if only 400 hours are flown yearly.
Liberty Jet.com quotes the 400-hour maintenance cost at $128,310
The Learjet 70 and 75’s Honeywell FE731-40BR turbofan engines have a 6,000-hour Core Zone Inspection (CZI), which is Honeywell’s term for an engine overhaul. The Major Periodic Inspection (MPI) is Honeywell’s version of a Hot Section Inspection (HSI), which is usually carried out at halfway point of the TBO and examines the areas where high temperatures occur.
If the engines have been kept up to date, then the time before overhaul and the HSI both increase by 1,000 and 500 hours.
The average engine overhaul cost after 400 hours is $233,391.
Miscellaneous Crew, Airport Fees
Aircraft have to pay landing and navigation fees for the services used during the flight. In the grand scheme of things, these might not seem like a high cost, but they add up. Landing fees are usually charged based on the weight of the aircraft, while navigation fees are charged based on the services used and the distance flown.
Other fees are charges based on the services used at the airport, loading and unloading cargo, fuel services, terminal usage, deicing, and passenger processing fees are all included in the final bill. Crew fees are charged based on the utilization of the crew. If the crew has to spend time overnight, then their meals and stay have to be covered.
For a Learjet 75, the average cost for this category after 400 hours is $80,000.
Miscellaneous Variable Costs
These are smaller costs that can’t be sorted into any of the other categories. The amount budgeted for miscellaneous variable costs after 400 hours for a Learjet 75 is $10,000.
Bombardier Learjet 70 and 75 Variants
The Learjet 70 is considered to be the successor to the Learjet 40 and 40XR. It’s also the standard or base version of this generation of Learjet.
The Learjet 75 is the stretched version of the Learjet 70 and is the successor to the Learjet 45 and 45XR. It’s also the best-selling version of this generation.
Learjet 75 Liberty
The Learjet 75 Liberty is a cheaper, stripped-down version of the Learjet 75. It’s missing the lavatory sink and auxiliary power unit to be cheaper.
Bombardier Learjet 70 and 75 Competing Aircraft
Embraer Phenom 300
The Embraer Phenom 300 is the closest competitor to both models of the Learjet. This aircraft rivals the Learjet in most metrics but loses out in terms of cabin volume, speed, and range. The Phenom has a cabin volume of 327 ft3 (9.26 m3), a maximum speed of 0.78 Mach, and a range of 1,971 nm (3,650 km).
However, this aircraft is lighter than even the Learjet 70 and has smaller, less powerful engines, which translates to lower operating costs. The Phenom is also priced more attractively than the Learjet 75. However, it is yet to outsell the latter, even though it has been in production for 4 years longer.
The Citation CJ4 also competes against the Learjets for market share. It’s a smaller aircraft and seems less capable when spec sheets are compared, however, the price point of the CJ4 makes it difficult to justify spending extra on a Learjet.
Like the Phenom 300, the CJ4 is smaller, lighter, and equipped with less powerful engines than the Learjet. This makes it cheaper to operate and allows it to fly further – up to 2,165 nm (4,010 km). It’s the slowest out of all Learjet’s competitors with a maximum speed of Mach 0.77.
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: Why has Bombardier canceled the Learjet program?
Answer: The Learjet program was canceled because sales of the aircraft were slowing down, and the market was catching up. Bombardier had to invest time and effort to develop a clean sheet design for the next Learjet to keep it competitive but decided to invest these funds in their more successful Global Jet program.
Question: What is the MTOW of the Learjet 70 and 75?
Answer: The Learjet 70 and the longer Learjet 75 have an MTOW of 21,500 lbs (9,752 kg), making them medium-sized aircraft. The extra weight is one of its weaknesses, because of it the aircraft needed bigger engines to power it adequately, which led to higher fuel consumption and overall operating costs.
Question: What are the Benefits of Being Part 25 Certified?
Answer: Part 25 certification takes a lot more effort as the standards are higher, which means the aircraft has to be engineered better. This means the development costs and the final sale price will be higher. But the increased certification makes insurance cheaper and maintenance more infrequent, which reduces costs in the long run.
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