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Watch: This Is How You Build A Learjet–The World’s Most Popular Business Jet

Pioneering Learjets Have Been Setting Business Jet Standards Since 1964 And They’re Not Stopping Now

Photograph Courtesy National Air and Space Museum

More than 3,000 Learjets have been built since 1964. Learjet was one of the first companies to manufacture a private, luxury aircraft. Over the years the name of the company building the jets has changed several times but the aircraft has always been one of the most recognizable in the skies and a benchmark for business jets subsequently developed and built. Since the original Learjet 23, a six or eight seat variant sharing the same engines as the Northrop F-5 Freedom Fighter and T-38 Talon, engine, wing, and fuselage refinements have yielded no less than 14 models. Thanks to YouTubers Documentary Nation for uploading this excellent profile of the Learjet factory.

Learjet has been building their jets in Wichita, Kansas ever since their first jet rolled off the assembly line. The United States Air Force (USAF) flies Learjet 35As designated as C-21A. Learjets have appeared in feature films such as Universal’s 2008 film Frost/Nixon, Universal’s Airport 1975 (1974), Paramount’s Transformers:  Revenge of the Fallen (2009), ITC’s Capricorn One (1977), Universal’s Dragnet (1987), Columbia’s S.W.A.T. (2003), and many more.

Famous Learjet distributor and owner Clay Lacy has used Learjets and the revolutionary Astrovision camera system to film well-known and often-seen air-to-air aviation sequences for decades.

C-21 is a military version of the Lear35 business jet. (Official US Air Force Photograph)

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Written by Bill Walton

Bill Walton

Bill Walton is a life-long aviation enthusiast and expert in aircraft recognition. As a teenager Bill helped his engineer father build an award-winning T-18 homebuilt airplane in their Wisconsin basement. Bill is a freelance writer, an avid sailor, engineer, announcer, husband, father, uncle, mentor, coach, and Navy veteran. Bill lives north of Houston TX with his wife and son under the approach path to KDWH runway 17R, which means they get to look up at a lot of airplanes. A very good thing.

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