The Bombardier Learjet 45 was a light jet (super light jet) built by Learjet, Inc. a subsidiary of Bombardier Aerospace. Production of the aircraft ended in 2012 and 2013 as a result of the company creating a new version of the jet.
Bombardier Learjet 45 History
The Learjet 45 aircraft was launched by Bombardier in 1992, and the first flight for the jet occurred on October 7, 1995. Continuing the legacy of the Learjet program, the Learjet 45 first flight took place precisely 32 years after the first Learjet's first flight. On September 22, 1997, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approved the Learjet 45 type certificate clearing the way for the aircraft to enter the market. Learjet delivered the first aircraft to a customer in January 1998. On July 21, 2002, Bombardier Learjet launched the Learjet 45 XR. The Learjet 45 XR was basically a Learjet 45 with new, better-performing engines that allow for greater performance. It officially entered into service during 2004.
In 2013, the Learjet 45 program was officially closed by Bombardier as the company started delivering the latest version of the jet, the Learjet 75.
The End of the Learjet 45 Program
On May 14, 2012, at EBACE, Bombardier announced the new version of the Learjet 45, the Bombardier Learjet 75. The Learjet 75 replaced the Learjet 45 in the Learjet product lineup and is very similar to the 45. Bombardier’s announcement officially marked the end of the Learjet 45 production by Bombardier. At the end of 2013, Bombardier certified the Learjet 75 and started delivering the aircraft to customers. The Learjet 45 program officially ended after the deliveries.
Aircraft Background and Technology
The Bombardier Learjet 45 is the first business jet designed 100 percent with CAD technology and then manufactured with computer-controlled machines (mostly). The original Learjet 45 is powered by two Honeywell TFE 731-20AR turbofan engines, that are mounted in the tail section of the Learjet 45. The Learjet 45 XR uses the new and improved Honeywell TFE 731-20BR Engines. Original Learjet 45s are eligible for an upgrade to the new engines, giving old Learjet 45s, Learjet 45 XR performance.
Learjet 45 avionics systems are powered by Honeywell's Primus 1000 avionics suite. The Learjet 45 has four screens for displaying information. Two displays are the primary flight displays, and the other two serve as multi-function displays.
Microsoft Flight Simulator X
Microsoft’s Flight Simulator X (10) features the aircraft in its lineup, which has brought increased interest in the aircraft. All of the aircraft’s systems are featured in the simulator.
Private Jet and Fractional Ownership
Once a popular option for private jet charter and fractional ownership companies, the Bombardier Learjet 45 has seen its usage in charter fleet decline as the Learjet 75 has replaced the aircraft in Bombardier’s private jet lineup. Flexjet was one company that operated a large number of the jets; however, the Learjet 45 has been mostly replaced by the 75. Even with the decline in usage of the plane, the 45 remains as one of the popular business jets in use around the world.
The Learjet 45 XR
In July 2004, Bombardier Learjet brought the Learjet 45 XR aircraft to the market. The Learjet 45 XR was built to improve the performance of the original Learjet 45 and upgrade some of the components of the Learjet 45 aircraft. It was the last number version of the 45 that was built by Bombardier Learjet.
Learjet 45 XR Improvements
The main improvement in the Learjet 45 XR, compared to the 45, is the engine. To bring better performance to the Learjet 45, Learjet used engine enhancements to increase the overall performance of the Learjet 45 series. To help increase performance, Learjet selected The Honeywell TFE731-20BR engine to replace the engine option of the base model. The TFE731-20BR is almost the same engine as the old TFE731-20AR engine; however, some improvements were made on the AR engine to make it better performing and the BR engine was born. The Honeywell TFE731-20BR gave the Learjet 45 XR reduced balanced field lengths at higher temperatures, faster high-speed cruise, and improved time-to-climb capabilities, mostly under ISA plus conditions. To learn more about the Learjet 45 engines and how older Learjet 45s can get the upgrade to the BR engine, visit our Learjet 45 Engine page.
Other Learjet 45 XR Improvements
There were also a few minor improvements to the Learjet 45 interior in the Learjet 45 XR version.
Learjet increased galley storage and improved access to systems behind the back lavatory partition. The cabin's lighting system was updated to a Light Emitting Diode (LED) system, which lasts longer, is more robust, and emits less heat. Also, interior components have been redesigned to allow for removal in 20 minutes or less.
The Learjet 45 is known for its great performance and capabilities as a light business jet. To learn more about the Learjet 45 and the Learjet 45 XR, visit the other Learjet 45 information pages on the site.
Above Bombardier Learjet 45 Photo by Jeff Gilbert on Wikimedia Commons. Photo (only) released under a GNU Free Documentation License.