The Learjet 75's B&CA sticker price is close to $14 million, so it's not the least expensive competitor in the light jet class. It's $4.5 million more costly than a typically equipped Embraer Phenom 300 or Cessna Citation CJ4. It's even $700,000 more expensive than the midsize Cessna Citation XLS+.

But Bombardier believes buyers will perceive the value of an aircraft that straddles the boundary between light jet and midsize business aircraft, having 2,000+ nm legs at long-range cruise, Mach 0.80 normal cruise speed and an APU as standard equipment.

Glance please at the accompanying Comparison Profile. The big spike on the chart represents tanks-full payload. It's 57% higher than the second-place Phenom 300 and 68% greater than the composite average of the group.

At 4,440 ft., standard day takeoff field length performance is competitive. Departing from B&CA's 5,000-ft. elevation, ISA+20C airport, the Learjet 75 stands out as a superb performer. But the aircraft does need somewhat more runway for takeoff on 600-nm trips. Speed and fuel efficiency remain two of its strongest selling points.

Its cabin is 2.5 ft. longer than competitive light jets and 15 in. longer than that of the Citation XLS+, so the Learjet 75 is the only light jet that can offer double club seating for eight passengers. It's also the only aircraft in its class with a flat floor.

While double club seating is standard, that configuration affords scant legroom if all seats are full. We recommend the seat tracking option that affords generous space in a single club section if only four passengers are aboard. One sore point of interest to chiropractors: The sidewall arm rails are higher than the armrests on the seats, so passengers' left and right forearms and shoulders aren't level.

Up front, pilots will find Bombardier's Vision cockpit, using Garmin G5000 avionics, a breeze to use compared with the Honeywell Primus 1000 gear in the Learjet 45XR.

Overall airport performance, especially at hot-and-high airports, is considerably better than that of the Learjet 45. It's still not as good as most other light jets, principally because of the aircraft's 68.9-lb./sq. ft. wing loading, which is much higher than that of most competitors. Then again, higher wing loading makes for a more comfortable ride in turbulence.

Still, we have a few brickbats:

Although Garmin is developing an auto-throttle system for the G5000 kits being fitted to the Citation Sovereign and the new Citation X, it's not available aboard the Learjet 75. We believe it should be optional, if not standard, considering the aircraft's price.

It's not easy to be smooth and precise with the nosewheel steering because there's little centering feedback through the rudder pedals. The Learjet 75's pitch and roll control force, unchanged from the Model 45, is ponderous by legacy Learjet standards.

No pilot's fingertips will confuse the Learjet 75 with Model 20 or 30 series Learjets. Even so, the Learjet 75 is a much stronger contender in the light to midsize jet class than its predecessor, the Model 45XR. It can operate from 10-12% shorter runways and it flies 4% farther than the Model 45 because of its new lower drag, canted winglets and reduced trim drag. It also has the most advanced cockpit and cabin environments of any Learjet yet produced.

Is it worth the money? Bombardier won't disclose its order book for the Model 75, but its extra pep, improved takeoff field performance, superbly capable avionics package and new cabin amenities surely enhance its appeal. Most of all, Bombardier's new aircraft offers classic Learjet loading flexibility. Fill the tanks, fill the seats and fly the mission.

Tap the ICON in the digital edition of B&CA to watch our video pilot report on the Learjet 75 or go to AviationWeek.com/video

Learjet 75 Preliminary Specifications
 
B&CA Equipped Price $13,793,000
 
Characteristics
Wing Loading 69.0
Power Loading 2.79
Noise (EPNdB) 75.5/85.1/93.4
 
Seating 2+8/9
 
Dimensions (ft./m)
Internal
Length 19.8/6.0
Height 4.8/1.5
Width (Maximum) 5.0/1.5
Width (Floor) 3.2/1.0
 
Thrust
Engine 2 Honeywell TFE731-40BR
Output/Flat Rating
OAT°C 3,850 lb. ea./ISA+23C
CZI 6,000 hr.
 
Weights (lb./kg)
Max Ramp 21,750/9,866
Max Takeoff 21,500/9,752
Max Landing 19,200/8,709
Zero Fuel 16,000/7,258c
BOW 13,890/6,300
Max Payload 2,110/957
Useful Load 7,860/3,565
Executive Payload 1,600/726
Max Fuel 6,062/2,750
Payload With Max Fuel 1,798/816
Fuel With Max Payload 5,750/2,608
Fuel With Executive Payload 6,260/2,840
 
Limits
Mmo 0.810
FL/Vmo FL 270/330
PSI 9.4
 
Climb
Time to FL 370 15 min.
FAR Part 25 OEI Rate NA
FAR Part 25 OEI Gradient NA
 
Ceilings (ft./m)
Certificated 51,000/15,545
All-Engine Service 44,700/13,625
Engine-Out Service 27,900/8,504
Sea-Level Cabin 25,700/7,833
 
Certification FAR Part 25 pending