Business Jet ManufacturersManufacturer Business Jet
The following manufacturers are presented: Learn more about Cessna, Bombardier, Gulfstream and Learjet in the first article of our two-part family. Whereas they were building prop planes in the first years (King Air series), today their twin-engine jet of the Citation range is their core business. This airplane range is called after the celebrated colt Citation, who was the most popular racehorse at the end of the 1940s.
At the beginning Citation-Jets were numbers, e.g. Citation I, II, III or alternatively III and VII, each with different "catalogues" of power. The Citation Excel, which is designed for non-stop European travel, and the Citation X, which at Mach 0.925 is one of the quickest business aircraft on the European jet scene, are among the best known business aircraft.
Latest innovations are the Citation Latitude with its trans-continental reach (2,850 sea miles), launched in 2015, and the Cessna Longitude with its trans-atlantic capability (3,400 sea miles), launched this year. Bombardier is the third biggest aircraft maker in the world behind the giant airlines Airbus and Boeing and the number 1 in the business jet sector.
Established in 1937, but it was not until the 1990 Learjet takeover that it began to become active in business aeronautics. Several of the well-known aircraft are the Global Express, the Challenger 604 and 605, the Challenger 300 and 305 and of course the Learjet family.
Global Express (Global Express, 5000 and 6000) belongs to the Ultra Long Ranges group of jets, which have distances of up to 11,500 km and flying times of up to 13 hrs. In addition, the Global 7000 with a cruising distance of 13,500 km and a Mach 0.9 velocity will be launched in two years.
The Challenger 604 Heavy Jet has one of the broadest and quieter staterooms of any available business jet and has a cruising distance of 7,400 km or almost 4,000 mile. Challenger 300/350 is classed as a Super Midsize Jet, with a slightly smaller, but otherwise the same cab as Challenger 604/605, a cruising distance of about 3,000 mph and a max flying time of 6h30.
At the end of the 1960' Gulfstream became known for the manufacture of medium-sized business jetliners. Meanwhile, the airline is known for its ultra long range jetliners, especially the elliptical window that contributes to the unmistakable appearance of its airplanes. Gulfstream's first aeroplane was the Grumman Gulfstream I twin-engine prop plane, which first took to the air in the late fifties.
Such was the success of this aircraft that the Grumman Gulfstream II Jet was launched soon after. In the late seventies, Grumman divested the Gulfstream programme to American Jet Industries. The Gulfstream G550 is one of the largest and most convenient business aircraft on the water. The Ultra Long Range Jet has a max outreach of 12,500 km.
The first Learjets were designed by William P. Lear in the fifties. First of the famed Learjet 23 was shipped in October 1964. Some 20 years later, 80 Learjet 35 aircraft were ordered by the United States Defense Ministry and at the same airport a Ministry of Aerospace was established.
Following a succession of merger and investment activities, Learjet Corporation was acquired by Bombardier Airspace in 1990 and is now known as Bombardier Learjet. Since 2012, the latest production aircraft have been the Learjet 70 and the Learjet 75. Embraer, Beechcraft and Dassault - the next manufacturers - will be presented in the second part of this family.