The new Bombardier
Learjet 60 XR has successfully executed a rigorous two-hour,
20-minute first flight.
The first Learjet 60 XR (serial number 60-294) departed Eastern
Iowa Airport at Cedar Rapids under sunny and windy conditions at
1:47 p.m. and returned on schedule at 4:07 p.m. CST. It achieved a
maximum first flight altitude of 17,500 feet and a maximum true
airspeed of 310 knots. Carrying 5,300 pounds of fuel, the weight at
takeoff was 20,000 pounds.
The aircraft’s maiden flight was dedicated to testing the
general functionality of the Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 avionics
suite. System operations were exercised specifically during
multiple approaches. The three-man crew, which included Capt.
Douglas May, a 15-year career pilot, flight test engineer Bernie
Hayes and co-pilot Keith Kankelfitz of Rockwell Collins, conducted
specific testing to evaluate the system’s integrated
displays, including the edge-to-edge ADIs (Attitude Deviation
Indicators), and the FMS (Flight Management Systems) to avionics
The integral chart features, capable of displaying electronic
charts, were evaluated during the approaches back into the Eastern
“With its large displays and improved access to flight
information, the new avionics system certainly proved its worth,
making it simpler to stay connected with the world outside the
aircraft,” reported Capt. May.
“The ADIs provided an easy-to-interpret reference for all
aircraft attitudes. The FMS-to-avionics interface successfully
delivered more critical flight information with greater ease; and
chart operations were intuitive and provided exceptional
The Learjet 60 XR aircraft, the latest evolution of the
world’s fastest, highest flying midsize jet, retains the
unbeatable combination of value and high-speed performance of its
Learjet 60 heritage, while adding a fully modernized avionics
system, together with a cabin redesigned for style, comfort and
The Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 avionics suite features the
latest flight deck design, human factors concepts and system
technology, equipping pilots with immediate, intuitive access to
vital flight information. The integrated avionics package, with the
latest edge-to-edge technology, includes four 8-inch by 10-inch
(20.3 cm by 25.4 cm) high-resolution liquid crystal display
adaptive flight screens, boosting the overall display area by an
impressive 75 per cent, and dramatically increasing the quality of
the visuals. The integrated flight information system, which
includes accessing electronic charts as standard equipment, allows
pilots to view approach plates and airport diagrams.
The totally redesigned cabin features five floorplans, stand-up
cabin, larger galley, brighter and more spacious lavatory, new
cabin management system with three-inch LCD control modules and
ports for laptops, iPods and other audio/video equipment. In
addition LED lighting is featured throughout the cabin.
Certification of the flight deck by the FAA is expected to take
place in the third quarter of 2006, with certification by Transport
Canada and the European Aviation Safety Agency expected to follow
shortly thereafter. The first Learjet 60 XR aircraft is currently
on schedule to enter service in the first quarter of 2007.