Learjet Milestones

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  1970   1980   1990   2000
1962 In the summer of 1962, Bill Lear moves his business jet company from Altenrheim, Switzerland to Wichita, Kansas.
1963 A prototype Learjet 23 is completed on production tooling and rolled out of factory for preflight equipment installation and final check-out.
  October 7th, the first Learjet, the Model 23, makes its first flight.
1964 July 31st, Learjet 23 is certified
  October 13th, delivery of the first production model of the Learjet 23 (serial number 003) to Chemical Industrial Corporation of Cincinnati, Ohio.
1965 May, Learjet establishes three world speed records, Los Angeles to New York and return in 10 hours, 21 minutes flight time with two refueling stops.
1966 March 17th, Learjet 24 becomes the first jet certified to U.S. FAR 25 standards, which superseded the former CAR 4b transport category.
1967 April 10th, Bill Lear sells controlling interest in Lear Jet Industries to Gates Rubber Company. The name is changed to Gates Learjet Corporation.
1968 February, Learjet sets time-to-climb record: 6 minutes, 19 seconds to 40,000 feet.
1972 January, FAA approves Learjet for operation from gravel runways, a business jet first
1973 August 22nd, Learjet 35 makes its first flight
1974 July, FAA certifies the Learjet 35 and 36.
1975 April 8th, Learjet delivers the 500th Learjet, a Learjet 24D to the navy of Mexico.
  December 20th groundbreaking ceremonies are held for an all-new 75,600 square-foot facility in Tucson to augment manufacturing and service activities of the Wichita facility.
1976 May 19th golfing legend Arnold Palmer leads a crew that pilots a Learjet 36 to an around-the-world record of 57 and hours and 26 minutes.
1977 April 15th the FAA certifies operation of Learjet aircraft to 51,000 feet—the highest in civil aviation.
1978 April of 1978 a Learjet 23 is made a permanent exhibit in the general aviation gallery of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum.
1979 January 30th the FAA certifies the Learjet 28/29 series, the world’s first production airplane with winglets.
  February 21st astronaut Neil Armstrong climbs to 50,000 feet in the Learjet Longhorn 28, setting five world records for business jets at Kitty Hawk, NC.
1980 A $5.2 million expansion is made to the Wichita site and the first production widebody Learjet Longhorn 50 series business jet rolls out.
  March 28th the 1,000th Learjet is delivered to the Eaton Corporation of Cleveland, Ohio.
1981 March the FAA certifies the Learjet 55, the company’s first medium sized jet.
1983 In May, the Learjet 55LR sets world speed record by flying from Los Angeles to Paris in12 hours, 37 minutes with one refueling stop.
1985 In September, Learjet receives contract to build intertank for space shuttle main booster rocket.
1986 In June, the 1,500th Learjet is delivered
1988 In September, Learjet 31 and 55C receive FAA certification, the first business aircraft to incorporate delta fins.
1990 June 29th Bombardier acquires Learjet.
  In October, Bombardier unveils the Model 31A.
1991 June 13th, the Learjet 60 makes its first flight
  In June, Bombardier establishes the Bombardier Flight Test Center at Learjet in Wichita.
1993 In January, the FAA certifies the Learjet 60, launching into service the quietest business jet in the world
1995 October 7th the Learjet 45 makes its first flight, 32 years to the day after the first Learjet took to the skies.
1997 February 22th a 98,000 square foot expansion of the Bombardier Flight Test Center is officially marked with a ceremony.
  June 19th the 100th Learjet 60 sets a record between Pittsburgh and Paris taking 8 hours and 1 minute to cover the distance of 3,452 nautical miles.
1999 August 20th, Bombardier delivers the 2,000 Learjet to Parker Hannifin Aerospace.
2000 October 3rd, delivery of 200th Learjet 31A to Falcon Air Services of Phoenix, Arizona.
2002 May, delivery of the 200th Learjet 45, less than four years after aircraft entered service.
  July 22nd, Bombardier announces the new Learjet 40 during the 40th anniversary of the founding of Learjet, Inc.
2004 June 17th, Bombardier announces that it has received regulatory approval from the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for the Honeywell TFE731-20BR engine upgrade for the Learjet 45 XR business jet.
  October 11th, Bombardier introduces the new Bombardier Learjet 40 XR, an enhanced version of the Learjet 40 light business jet that entered service in January 2004. The Learjet 40 XR surpasses the outstanding performance of the successful Bombardier Learjet 40 by flying even further under hot and high conditions and out of challenging airfields.
2005 November 9th, Bombardier raises the bar for the entire midsize jet category with the introduction of the Learjet 60 XR business jet – the latest evolution of the powerful, proven Learjet 60 – at the 58th NBAA Convention. The Learjet 60 XR business jet features a state-of-the-art avionics system along with a stand-up cabin with a restyled interior.
2006 April 3rd, the Bombardier Learjet 60 XR successfully completes a rigorous 2-hour 20 minute first flight.