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Learjet Timeline

March 30, 2003 by Carl Chance

A Brief Record of Learjet’s Progression Skyward

Late 1950s

U.S. entrepreneur and inventor, William P. Lear, Sr., forms Swiss American Aviation Corporation (SAAC) with intention of designing and manufacturing SAAC-23 corporate jet aircraft.

1962

Lear moves S.A.A.C. from Switzerland to Wichita, Kansas.

On February 7, assembly of Learjet #1 begins.

On March 9, S.A.A.C. occupies new Wichita plant.

1962

Lear Jet Corporation

1963

On April 26, S.A.A.C. renamed Lear Jet Corporation.

On October 7, first flight of first Learjet, Model 23

1964

On October 13, first production Model 23 delivered.

On November 30, Lear Jet Corporation becomes publicly owned.

1966

On February 24, first flight of Model 24.

On March 17, model 24 becomes first business aircraft certificated under
FAR Part 25.

On March 29, 100th Lear Jet delivery.

On May 23-26, Standard Model 24 circles earth in 50 hours, 20 minutes,
flying time.

On August 12, first flight of Model 25.

Lear Jet Industries

1966

On September 19, Lear Jet Corporation renamed Lear Jet Industries Inc.

On November 9, model 24A receives FAA certification.

1967

On April 10, Gates Rubber Company acquires controlling interest in Lear
Jet Industries.

On July 21, Gates Aviation to market Lear Jet worldwide.

On October 10, model 25 receives FAA type certification.

1968

On November 27, 200th Lear Jet delivered.

On December 17, model 24B awarded FAA type certificate.

1969

On April 2, William P. Lear, Sr. resigns from Lear Jet Industries board.

Gates Learjet Corporation

1969

On December 2, Lear Jet Industries Inc. merges with Gates Aviation to
become Corporation Gates Learjet.

1970

On July 17, FAA certifies Model 24D (replaces Model 24B).

On September 4, models 25B and 25C awarded FAA type certificates.

1971

On May 19, first flight of Garret AiResearch TFE-731-2 turbofan-powered
Model 25.

On October 6, Presidential "E" award presented by U.S.
Department of Commerce for Performance in export sales.

1972

On January 11, Lear Jet becomes first business jet approved for gravel
runway operations.

1973

On January 7, tenth anniversary of Learjet factory opening observed with
delivery of 360th aircraft.

On August 22, first flight of Model 35.

1974

On July 9, models 35 and 36 receive FAA type certification.

1975

On January 1, Gates Learjet leads business jet industry in total aircraft
delivered for tenth consecutive year.

On April 8, 500th Learjet delivery sets industry milestone.

1976

On May 17-19, model 36 flies around the world in 57 hours, 26 minutes.

On August 2, FAA announces certification of last of six new Century III
series Learjet models.

On September 14, Learjet increases production to 10 aircraft a month.

1977

On April 15, FAA approves Learjet 24E/F and 25D/F operations to 15,545
metres (51,000 ft.) highest level ever achieved in U.S. civil aviation.

On August 24, first flight of Model 28.

1978

On May 14, William P. Lear, Sr. dies.

1979

On January 29, models 28 and 29 awarded FAA type certificates.

On April 19, first flight of Model 54/55/56 series.

1980

On March 28, 1,000th aircraft delivered.

On September 23, new Model 25G introduced.

1981

On March 18, FAA certificates Learjet Longhorn Model 55.

1982

On June 9-18, first production Model 25G enters demonstration service, breaking
long-distance speed and fuel consumption records.

1983

On March 9, FAA certifies Model 55ER, first in planned series of
extended-range versions.

On May 26, FAA certifies Model 55LR.

On July 7, standard production Model 55 breaks six time-to-climb and
altitude records in its weight class.

On September 19, U.S. Department of Defence orders 80 Model 35As for
USAF’s Operational Support Aircraft program.

1984

On July 11, startup of high technology Aerospace Division announced.

On September 18, commercial aircraft production suspended until
inventories reduced.

1985

On March 19, first of new Model 55s featuring numerous improvements,
unveiled.

On September 10, Aerospace Division selected to build components for Space
Shuttle’s main booster rocket.

1986

On February 21, corporate headquarters relocated to Tucson, Arizona.

On February 28, Production restarted at Tucson and Wichita facilities.

style=’font-family:
Verdana;color:black’>Integrated Acquisition – Learjet Corporation

1987

On September 9, Integrated Acquisition, Inc. acquires Gates Learjet
Corporation, now a private company.

1988

On April 4, name changed to Learjet Corporation.

On August 1, FAA certifies Learjet 31.

1989

On January 1, move of all aircraft production from Tucson to Wichita
completed.

style=’font-family:
Verdana;color:black’>Bombardier Inc.
style=’font-family:Verdana;
color:black’>

1990

On June 22, Bombardier announces conclusion of negotiations for purchase of
Learjet Corporation.

On June 29, Bombardier purchase of Learjet Corp. completed.

On October 10, first flight of Learjet* 60 mid-size jet.

1991

On June 14, new Flight Test Center completed at Wichita.

On July 25, Learjet 31A receives FAA certification.

1992

On September 14, Learjet 45 unveiled.

1993

On January 15, Learjet 60 receives FAA certification.

On April 5, first Learjet 60 delivered.

1994

On May 16, Learjet 60 completes round-the-world demonstration flight.

On October 3, Learjet celebrates 30th Anniversary of delivery of first
Learjet aircraft.

1995

On April 4, Learjet 60 is top selling mid-size jet in 1994.

On October 7, first flight of Learjet 45.

1997

On September 22, Learjet 45 receives FAA certification.

Courtesy Bombardier Aerospace/Learjet by Dan Demott.

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