Aircraft of the Week – Learjet 45
This week’s aircraft of the week is a difficult aircraft to classify. Most aviation professionals consider the Bombardier Learjet 45 as a “super light jet” meaning a larger light jet. It is also commonly referred to as a small mid jet. Though a brief look at the aircraft’s specifications can clear up any questions about the category of this aircraft. Firstly, the Lear 45 has a range of approximately 1,993 nautical miles, on the high end of the scale for light jets which generally have a range between 1,500 and 1,900 nautical miles. Though this also places the Learjet 45 as a lower range mid sized jet. Mid sized jets’ maximum range is generally between 1,900 and 3,000 nautical miles, meaning simply looking at the range of the aircraft is not enough to classify it into a major category.
The Learjet 45 is generally configured for up to 9 passengers, a norm in the mid sized jet category, but over the maximum defined 8 passengers for a light jet. Though the Learjet 45 can also be configured for a lower amount of passengers, it would be wise to look at the interior cabin dimensions. Even though this aircraft can seat 9 passengers, the cabin height of 5’ 1 feet and the cabin width of 4’ 10 make it generally taller but less wide than a typical light jet, though aircraft length is more along the lines of a mid sized jet at 19 ft. Bombardier themselves claim that the Lear 45 is a mid sized jet built to sit between the Learjet 31 and the Learjet 60.
The learjet 45 is a great middle range aircraft by Bombardier, significantly different than any other Learjets at it’s time of productions, the all new Learjet 70/75 is based on the Learjet 45 platform. Top speed for the Lear 45 is typical of any Learjet, this family of aircraft are known for their astonishing speed, and the Lear 45 is no exception with its 464 kts maximum speed (533 mph). Since it’s introduction in 1995 until manufacturing halted in 2013 due to the upcoming Learjet 70/75 project, with an achievable purchase price of $11.5 million and great mechanical stability, the Lear 45 is a great contender for a category of aircraft that was previously unexploited. This and the Learjet 45’s comfort and speed make the Lear 45 a clear winner of this week’s aircraft of the week.