The Learjet 55 is a mid-size twin turbofan powered jet introduced in 1981. Lear produced the 55 in response to consumer demand for greater cabin accommodations. True to all Learjet evolutions, the Learjet 55 incorporates the most successful elements of its predecessors while introducing modifications to improve performance and the passenger experience.
In developing the 55, Lear used the turbofan engines from the 30-series and the “Longhorn” wing from the original 20-series. The “Longhorn” tag arose from the winglets which were a relatively new feature on aircraft at the time. The Learjet 55 was first introduced at the 1977 Paris air show. It had a larger cabin than any existing Learjets. Its enclosed cabin seated up to ten passengers. The first production aircraft were delivered in 1981.
Lear also developed a number of variants of the Model 55; each intended to introduce improvements in performance and handling. These included the 55B, 55C, 55C/LR, and 55C/ER among others. Few of these aircraft entered production.
Ten years following the first production Learjet 55, the Learjet 60 was launched as the definitive modified Learjet 55. It was essentially a stretched version of the Learjet 55 with more powerful, updated engines.
As mentioned above, the Learjet 55 added a larger, more comfortable cabin to the passenger experience. The engineers added 50 percent more volume over the earlier models. But rather than adding more seating, the designers chose to enhance the accommodations and add amenities. Six different cabin arrangements were offered with seating for four to eight passengers. A high density arrangement is also available with seating for up to ten. The expanded space and accommodations were well-received by passengers and the Learjet 55 proved to be a very successful evolution in the Learjet family of private jets.
Technical specifications are as follows:
The Learjet 55 is equipped with two Garrett TFE7313A2B turbofans rated at 3700lb each.
Performance specifications are as follows:
The Learjet 55 has a maximum cruising speed of 523mph (843km/h) with an economical cruising speed of 483 mph (778km/h). The 55 climbs at over 4000 ft/min and has a service ceiling of 51,000ft. The jet has a maximum range of 2492mi (4010km) with four passengers fuel reserves. The long range variant 55C/LR has a maximum range of 2771 mi (4461km) carrying four passengers and fuel reserves.
Dimension specifications are as follows:
The 55 has an overall length of 55ft 1in (16.79m), height of 14ft 8 in (4.47m), wingspan of 43ft 9in (13.3m) and wing area of 264.5sq ft (24.6m2). The combined interior and exterior baggage compartments can hold 60 cubic feet.
Weight specifications are as follows:
Learjet 55 has an empty operating weight of 15,000lb (6,803kg)) and a maximum takeoff weight of 21,000lb (9,525kg). The useful load is 9,200lb (4,173kg) and the maximum payload is 2,495lb (1,131kg). When carrying maximum fuel load, the payload is reduced to 2,450lb (1,111kg).
Interior specifications are as follows:
The Learjet 55 requires a crew of two and the cabin can accommodate up to 10 passengers but the typical corporate jet seats 4-8 passengers in a variety of configurations. The cabin measures 16.7ft in length, 5.9 ft in width, and 5.75ft in height. The interior baggage compartment can hold 40 cubic feet.
The Learjet 55 features luxurious leather VIP seats, fold-out tables, a fully enclosed, half-width lavatory, and a galley/refreshment center. The seating arrangements vary but commonly feature a double club configuration or single club configuration with full length divan. Owners have taken advantage of the spacious cabin to configure seating and cabin furniture in a number of other arrangements. Additional customizations may include entertainment systems, individual flat screen monitors, and LED lighting.
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