The final Learjet 75 rolled out of a Bombardier Wichita hangar Monday afternoon headed to Grand Rapids, Michigan, for delivery to a customer of Northern Jet Management. Just a few hours earlier, the light jet’s departure followed a 30-minute-long ceremony marking the delivery and the end of 60 years of Learjet production.
“There’s no doubt that today is an emotional day for many of us as it marks the end of the production era of Learjet,” said Tonya Sudduth, v-p of Learjet operations. “However, the emotion that I’ve seen most prominent in all of my conversations with [employees] over the past several days and months is pride. Pride for being part of this amazing legacy. And pride in making a lasting mark on aviation history.”
Bombardier announced plans to shutter Learjet production in February 2021 citing a “challenging market dynamic” and competition from new entrants in the light jet category.
More than 3,000 Learjet aircraft have been delivered since the company, under the helm of founder Bill Lear, delivered the first Learjet 23 from Wichita in 1964. Bombardier expects to hold a larger ceremony led by CEO Eric Martel marking the legacy of the Learjet and the future of the Wichita site in mid-April. In addition to Learjet production, the Wichita site’s operations include a service center, engineering, and special mission aircraft.