Learjet 60 owners and operators love its climb speed but some respondents to the EBAN survey were unhappy with the dispatch reliability. The overall feedback was summed up by ExecuJet's Capt. Jeroen Haring, pictured above with first officer Anja Weiss at its London Luton base. He says: "The Learjet 60 is one of the best performing aircraft I have flown in my career. With its fast time to climb even under heavy load, you can quickly clear Europe's congested airspace. The spacious cabin in combination with the relatively low fuel burn makes the Learjet 60 an ideal aircraft for travel within Europe and the Mediterranean."
Three-fifths of respondents cited the climb rate as the best feature while two-fifths reported there were problems with dispatch reliability, especially in wet and cold weather. Improved luggage capacity, a more efficient galley and a landing performance to compare with the fast climb at takeoff were among their wishlists for upgrades.
Lead captain Nils Hoffman reported that he was dissatisfied with the factory finish, especially in the cabin. The aircraft, he says, has many small features that would benefit from an upgrade, adding that the cockpit lights and side windows were poorly positioned.
The Learjet 55 evoked a response along much the same lines as the Learjet 60. Geir Jensen of Hastens Sangar AB says the Learjet 55 is unmatched in its price range. "The Learjet 55 is less well known in Europe than it should be which is a shame since it outclasses jets from other manufacturers for European operations," he says. "A lot of operators would be surprised by its performance. I am very satisfied with the maintenance support which, although not as easy in Sweden as in the US, is well covered compared to other aircraft. There is good support from Bombardier and I am satisfied with dispatch reliability. The Learjet 55 works well under all conditions, especially considering it is an old aircraft. I am very satisfied with the operating capability and there is a superb fuel versus payload balance. For value, it is alone in its class. No other manufacturer can match the performance within this price range."
But Jensen points out that the Learjet 55 is a comparatively old aircraft with regard to maintenance and avionics and that he would favour engine and brake upgrades.
Learjet has continuously improved on aircraft systems. More specifically, the new Learjet 60XR three rotor brake design has provided a much-improved load distribution capability. These new brakes will increase the service life and reduce inspection requirements. The upgraded version of the Learjet 60, the Learjet 60XR, which entered into service in July 2007, allowed Bombardier to combine improved performance, lower operating costs with new technology and enhanced comfort. The Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 avionics suite and a redesigned interior focused on maximising comfort have shown to be improvements based on market and customer feedback.