Lear 85 On Schedule

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Bombardier says development of the Lear 85 mostly composite business jet is moving ahead on schedule and the program hit some major milestones recently. Major components for the midsize aircraft will be made a plant in Queretaro, Mexico, and on March 30 the plant was granted FAA permission for parts conformity, making it the first U.S. company to get approval to build Category 1 and Category 2 aircraft parts in Mexico. The shell of the parts plant is up, tooling is under way and the Mexico plant is expected to begin making parts in July. Meanwhile, Bombardier is expanding facilities in Wichita to make way for the new model.

The Wichita facility will assemble the new jets and finish them for delivery. Even though the factories aren't finished yet, Bombardier says everything is on schedule and first deliveries will be on schedule in 2013. The company says it will be "the first all-composite structure business jet designed for type certification under U.S. Federal Aviation Administration FAR Part 25."