Bombardier Announces Long-Legged Lear NXT

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Bombardier Aerospace announced on Tuesday that it will build a new mid-sized business jet that's as fast as its stablemates, the 45 series and 60 series, but goes a lot farther on a tank of gas. Dubbed the NXT, Bombardier is predicting the eight-passenger aircraft with stand-up cabin will have a true transcontinental range of 3,000 nm, almost 1,000 nm more than the eight-seat 45XR and 500 nm more than the top-of-the-line 60XR. Just how the new aircraft will offer that kind of range hasn't been released in the initial announcements but Bombardier does describe the aircraft as a clean-sheet design that it says will fit between midsized and super midsized business jets. "The design is customer-driven, based on what they have told us they need and want in a new midsize category business jet," Pierre-Gabriel Cote, president of Bombardier Business Aircraft said in a news release. Bombardier says it has 65 letters of intent from those interested in buying the new aircraft. It plans to unveil it next October [possibly at NBAA?] in time for the 45 anniversary of the first flight of the original Learjet. Parts will be made by an international assortment of contractors but final assembly and interiors will be done at Bombardier's Wichita plant. The aircraft will also be flight tested there.