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Learjet 85 will fly ‘very very shortly’

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Wednesday, March 19, 2014, at 2:12 p.m.

Stay tuned.

Bombardier’s new Learjet 85 business jet will fly “very very shortly,” company spokeswoman Annie Cossette said.

Cossette declined to be more specific, other than to say the flight would not take place on Wednesday.

The event will be private for employees.

The maiden flight of Bombardier’s Learjet 85 in Wichita had been scheduled by the end of 2013, but the timetable was delayed.

Entry-into-service for the composite Learjet 85, which holds eight people, still is scheduled for this summer. Cossette has said that the schedule will be reviewed once the first flight is achieved.

Bombardier launched the Learjet 85 program, the largest Learjet to date, in October 2007.

The plane fits between the midsize and super midsize segments of the business jet market and has a range of roughly 3,000 nautical miles.

No specific issue caused the date of the first flight to slide, the company has said.

As with any new airplane program, “there’s always some challenges and some new elements we have to take into account,” Cossette said earlier this year. “We’re very committed to respecting the strict flight test protocol, and some elements of that take longer than what was originally planned.”

The plane has been undergoing taxi and pre-flight testing in Wichita, where it’s assembled.

Reach Molly McMillin at 316-269-6708 or mmcmillin@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @mmcmillin.

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