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Old 14th April 2016, 01:14   #1
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Default Bombardier Learjet 60XR - Initial Impressions

Bombardier LearJet 60XR Review.

Flew in a Learjet 60XR for the first time. At 49000 ft, very close to the service ceiling. I was the only passenger, so the pilots went all out.

Initial Impressions:
  • Headroom is very limited.
  • Lavatory is strictly okay.
  • The baggage compartment is big and heated.
  • Air Conditioning unit is not effective at all.
  • The main landing gear looks as if it they took the wheels from the shopping trolley of Walmart.
  • Extremely good runway performance. We used around 4000 ft or so.
  • Extremely rapid climb rates. And I do not say this lightly. 5000 fpm at 250 KIAS upto FL100. And then 4700 fpm till 45000 ft. We climbed to FL450 in TO+14 mins. Had to wait for clearance up to FL490. I don't know why they kept us waiting though. It's quite lonely at 45000 ft.
  • Tires are inflated to 206 psi. Much higher than the 150ish required for the 45/45XR. But those stiff tires resist hydroplaning, and have an additional disc. The disc sorts out the brake issues the previous gen LR60 had.
  • My phone's compass isn't accurate enough compared to the million dollar one on the Learjet.

PS: Also posted on reddit r/aviation.
Bombardier Learjet 60XR - Initial Impressions-lwear2.jpg
Bombardier Learjet 60XR - Initial Impressions-scqr.jpg

Last edited by searchingheaven : 14th April 2016 at 01:27.
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Old 14th April 2016, 07:33   #2
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Default Re: Airbus A320 Long-Term, 3 Million KMs Review

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Originally Posted by searchingheaven View Post
Bombardier LearJet 60XR Review.
That must have been very interesting!

Those are impressive climb rates. In the end it is all down thrust to weight ratio.
How heavy were you, did it take a full fuel load.

If you take a 747-400 with no pax or cargo, put about 20 tonnes of fuel in it, you would get even more impressive climb rate.

at 250 KIAS up to about 17000ft you could easily clock 6000 ft/min. Then it starts tapering off, but when you bust through FL 300 you are still likely to be above 4000ft/min.

Its quite spectacular. It feels as if the plane is really standing on its tail. Although in practice you are doing about 12-14 degree pitch only.

Twin engine jet planes tend to have very good climbing characteristics. It comes partly from the requirement to be able to climb well on only one engine. So you could say with both engines working they are overpowered. If they are also light on pax/cargo/fuel you can go up very very fast indeed.

I noticed that on the display it shows ISA = 8oC at 49.000 feet? How does that work? I havent given it much thought, but that seems a low figure. Depends on conditions of course but maybe Im off. Do you remember what the actual air temperature was. Must have been cold up there!

Jeroen
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Old 14th April 2016, 09:36   #3
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Default Re: Airbus A320 Long-Term, 3 Million KMs Review

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Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post
How heavy were you, did it take a full fuel load.
The load sheet was somewhat like this:

OEW: 7711 kg
ZFW: 8011 kg
RW : 9600 kg
TOW: 9527 kg

MTOW: 10750 kg

We were at 86% of MTOW. Climb rates were pretty impressive at such loads.

Quote:
If you take a 747-400 with no pax or cargo, put about 20 tonnes of fuel in it, you would get even more impressive climb rate.
Yes, but I haven't had the pleasure of having an empty, cargo-light 747 to myself.

Quote:
Twin engine jet planes tend to have very good climbing characteristics. It comes partly from the requirement to be able to climb well on only one engine. So you could say with both engines working they are overpowered.
What you say is very, very true. Especially with regards to jets which are ETOPS certified. I was on a 777-300ER once, flying with 30 or so passengers only. I remember the thrust of the GE90-115B's till today.

Quote:
Although in practice you are doing about 12-14 degree pitch only.
But as usual with airliners at very high altitude, even at 4 degrees, we were flying just shy of a problematic angle of attack. Two degrees higher, at 6 degrees, a warning would have sounded in the cockpit, and 5 degrees higher still, at an angle of attack of about 10 degrees, theoretically the airplane would have stalled.

Quote:
Do you remember what the actual air temperature was. Must have been cold up there!
OAT and SAT are pretty much same and can be used interchangeably. So to answer your question, it was around -49C outside. But I can assure you that the air conditioner for some reason wasn't cooling the cabin properly. The cabin temp. was 23C at one point during the flight. It settled down at 20C after 30 mins or so.

Quote:
I noticed that on the display it shows ISA = 8C at 49.000 feet? How does that work? I haven’t given it much thought, but that seems a low figure. Depends on conditions of course but maybe I’m off.
I scanned this page from the 60XR Flight Manual. It shows the relation between SAT, ISA and Altitude.
  • According to the chart, from FL370 to Fl510 (and above), ISA is -56.5C constant.
  • If you notice the right side of the photo, on the EICAS, the SAT is -49C. At ISA deviation of +10C, SAT will obviously be 46.5.
  • Our SAT was -49C and ISA was +8C, so the calculation is pretty much accurate. (-56.5C + 8 = -48.5C)
Bombardier Learjet 60XR - Initial Impressions-pages-lr60xrpm.jpg

Last edited by Aditya : 19th April 2016 at 07:11. Reason: Picture inserted in-line. Bold text in quote edited.
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Old 14th April 2016, 09:57   #4
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Default Re: Airbus A320 Long-Term, 3 Million KMs Review

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Originally Posted by searchingheaven View Post
But as usual with airliners at very high altitude, even at 4 degrees, we were flying just shy of a problematic angle of attack. Two degrees higher, at 6 degrees, a warning would have sounded in the cockpit, and 5 degrees higher still, at an angle of attack of about 10 degrees, theoretically the airplane would have stalled.

]
thanks for the additional information. Yes, when you get that high up the flight envelop narrows quickly and pushes you into the coffin corner.

Jeroen
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Old 18th April 2016, 23:47   #5
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Default Re: Bombardier Learjet 60XR - Initial Impressions

I was again travelling in the 60XR today. We went up to 51000 ft today, which is the service ceiling for the 60XR. A funny incident happened today.

Our callsign was Bombardier 998. We were at 39000 ft, somewhere above France. A BA 777W (callsign Speedbird 139), altitude 38000 ft was on our frequency from the last 5 mins or so. We had some conversation on the radio regarding the weather up ahead. The BA pilots didn't know that Bombardier 998 was a Learjet 60.

Anyway, 5 mins later, the radio comes alive. In an air of superiority, the pilot said,

Quote:
BA139: Speedbird 139, requesting FL400.
ATC: Speedbird 139, cleared to FL400.
BA139: Cleared to FL400
We were impressed with the B777W opting for a step climb. But we were not to be left behind. The conversation then continued as follows.

Quote:
LR60: Bombardier 998, requesting FL510.
ATC: Bombardier 998, if you can get up there, it's all yours.
LR60: Thank you center, cleared to FL510.
The BA pilots must have been really upset. Anyway, in 2 mins we get a call.
Quote:
BA139: Bombardier 998, What aircraft are you flying, mate?
LR60 : Speedbird 139, we are flying a LearJet 60XR.
BA139: Oh, well, enjoy yourself.
You could feel the disappointment in their voice.


View from 51000 ft. If you look closely, you can see the curvature of the earth. Bombardier Learjet 60XR - Initial Impressions-final.jpg
Attached Thumbnails
Bombardier Learjet 60XR - Initial Impressions-final-scr.jpg  

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Old 19th April 2016, 05:54   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by searchingheaven View Post
,

We were impressed with the B777W opting for a step climb. ]

Nice one. Speedbird 139 is the BA run London to Mumbai.
Im surprised they went to FL400 so early on in their flight. Typically you will find them at those altitudes towards the end of the flight, when they have burned of a lot of fuel. But then London Mumbai is just a short hop for a 777 I guess.

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Old 19th April 2016, 06:33   #7
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Default Re: Bombardier Learjet 60XR - Initial Impressions

Very interesting thread indeed. Loved reading it.
But I don't think posting in Greek is allowed on TeamBHP!

If you guys can decode some of the abbreviations, it will be very kind to airplane illiterates like me.
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Old 19th April 2016, 07:12   #8
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Default Re: Bombardier Learjet 60XR - Initial Impressions

@SearchingHeaven, nice thread there !

This was .. Wonder what were the ATC guys thinking !
Quote:
LR60: Bombardier 998, requesting FL510.
ATC: Bombardier 998, if you can get up there, it's all yours.
LR60: Thank you center, cleared to FL510.
what's the second image that you have posted in the two posts ? What's "GPS" in there ?

Last edited by condor : 19th April 2016 at 07:14.
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Old 19th April 2016, 07:45   #9
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Default Re: Bombardier Learjet 60XR - Initial Impressions

Quote:
Originally Posted by searchingheaven View Post

The BA pilots must have been really upset. Anyway, in 2 mins we get a call.


You could feel the disappointment in their voice.
Very interesting thread! Thank you for sharing. Were you flying it or were you a passenger? Almost had a chance to fly in a turbo prop recently but flight was cancelled due to bad weather.

Would you recommend someone to take flying classes for a hobby? I am in the US and there are courses which are by the hour and can be taken when you have ample time. My only confusion is between taking one for a plane and taking a class for a chopper

Maddy
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Old 19th April 2016, 08:09   #10
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Default Re: Bombardier Learjet 60XR - Initial Impressions

Quote:
Originally Posted by searchingheaven View Post
I was again travelling in the 60XR today.
Excellent

Reminds me of the "Ultimate ground speed check" narrated by Brian Schul flying the Sled

Linked here, in case anyone is interested.
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Old 19th April 2016, 10:04   #11
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Default Re: Bombardier Learjet 60XR - Initial Impressions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post
Im surprised they went to FL400 so early on in their flight.
The ATC callsign is different from the commercial flight number of the aircraft. For eg.

Flight Number: BA172 (IATA Code for British Airways flight from KJFK-EGLL. This is the number displayed commerically on website etc.)
Aircraft Registration: G-STBL
Aircraft type: B777W
Callsign: BAW139 (ICAO Code for British Airways)

139 is the carrier-allocated flight identification code, while 172 is the commercial flight number. So, in all probability, they were not doing the EGLL-VABB run.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Viju View Post
If you guys can decode some of the abbreviations, it will be very kind to airplane illiterates like me.
I would love to explain it to you. Please quote whatever part you do not understand and Jeroen and I will try explaining it to you as simply as we can.

Quote:
Originally Posted by condor View Post
This was .. Wonder what were the ATC guys thinking !
what's the second image that you have posted in the two posts ? What's "GPS" in there ?
GPS 10M refers to the accuracy of the device. It's a phone whose screenshot I have taken.

Quote:
Originally Posted by maddy42 View Post
Very interesting thread! Thank you for sharing. Were you flying it or were you a passenger?

Would you recommend someone to take flying classes for a hobby? I am in the US and there are courses which are by the hour and can be taken when you have ample time. My only confusion is between taking one for a plane and taking a class for a chopper
I'm primarily a fixed-wing pilot, and that's all I'm certified for by the FAA. I do not have a type rating for the Learjet 60XR, so I was fying as a passenger.

However, I've gotten several chances to ride along in helicopters. They are significantly more sensitive and difficult to handle, and if I had not had a lot of prior knowledge of their aerodynamics and procedures, I would have been completely lost. Helicopters are much more expensive to operate. Most of the money is to be made in the coffin corner, hovering over a mountaintop microwave antenna and things like that.

If you're intending to fly for fun, a fixed-wing aircraft is the way to go. It will be cheaper, safer and more useful.

Last edited by searchingheaven : 19th April 2016 at 10:09.
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Old 19th April 2016, 10:54   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maddy42 View Post
Would you recommend someone to take flying classes for a hobby? I am in the US and there are courses which are by the hour and can be taken when you have ample time. My only confusion is between taking one for a plane and taking a class for a chopper



Maddy


Absolutely! There is no better place in the world to get a pilot license then the USA. Flying clubs and airfield and instructors in abundance. Very well organised and relatively cheap.

In general you will find it a little easier to learn to fly a fixed wing plane, there are far more to choose from, not sure about the cost comparison.

Not sure these days or in the US for that matter, but many helicopter licenses require a private pilot license as well.

Why not try both, talk to some people on the airfield and decide afterwards
I got my lines and various rating during our stay in the USA. Best, most rewarding thing I ever did!

I have flown on many helicopters during my offshore days as a passenger, whenever I could next to the pilot. When we lived in the UK there was a helicopter school at Shoreham airport. I took a few lessons. My impression all helicopters are noisy, rattle and shake and are just uncomfortable. Flying them requires very different skills as far as rudder and stick skills are concerned.

You also might want to give some thought to what you will do with your license once you pass your check ride. Are you just going on the proverbial $100 Burger run to other airports nearby? Do you want to use it to fly to places instead of driving or flying commercial. Do you want to get your instrument rating, twin engine ATP etc.

I tried to cram in as many hours and get as many different ratings I could achieve. Together with a couple of friends we started our own flying club. It owned four planes. InitiallyA Cessna 152, 172, 182 and a Diamond 20. Later a Cirrus SR20 was added. Especially the Diamond and Cirrus were serious cross country planes. Fully IFR certified, glass cockpit the works.

I got my PPL on a Cessna 150 for two reasons. It is very cheap and very basic. I wanted to start my formal flying on proper old school steam gauges. I actually had considerable time on full motion 747-400 simulators.

But after talking to many people, pilots and instructors I decided to go the old way first. I passed my check ride on my 42nd flight hour. Flew 10 hours on the 152, got checked out on the 182 and did my instrument training in it. From then on transferred to the Diamond and Cirrus.

I don't get to fly much since I left the USA and living in India. But whenever I get the chance when in Europe or USA I will rent a plane and get some hours.

Jeroen
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Old 19th April 2016, 18:03   #13
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Default Re: Bombardier Learjet 60XR - Initial Impressions

Quote:
Originally Posted by searchingheaven View Post
Bombardier LearJet 60XR Review.
Nice Review!! What sector were you guys flying on? Since this aircraft has a ceiling of 51000 ft, there must have been a radiation indicator as well. Did you happen to see the radiation level on that ??

Quote:
Originally Posted by maddy42 View Post
Very interesting thread! Thank you for sharing. Were you flying it or were you a passenger? Almost had a chance to fly in a turbo prop recently but flight was cancelled due to bad weather.

Would you recommend someone to take flying classes for a hobby? I am in the US and there are courses which are by the hour and can be taken when you have ample time. My only confusion is between taking one for a plane and taking a class for a chopper

Maddy
If you have the time and money to persue the hobby, US is probably one of the best places to fly. You will absolutely love the freedom of flying. The controllers there are very very accomodating. I remember doing a bay tour on a C-152 and the way they seperate you from the heavy guys out of SFO is just amazing. If you do persue flying, do try and squeeze in insrument rating as well. Its a very handy rating to have. HAPPY FLYING!!!
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Old 19th April 2016, 19:14   #14
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Originally Posted by RVD View Post
Nice Review!! What sector were you guys flying on? Since this aircraft has a ceiling of 51000 ft, there must have been a radiation indicator as well. Did you happen to see the radiation level on !!!

Not sure if that is a requirement as such? By whom?
It's definitely an issue of course, although it is not just altitude but also time exposure and latitude that need to be factored in

http://aircrewhealth.com/Topics/hazards/radiation.htm

Jeroen
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Old 19th April 2016, 19:26   #15
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Default Re: Bombardier Learjet 60XR - Initial Impressions

Quote:
Originally Posted by searchingheaven View Post
I

Anyway, 5 mins later, the radio


View from 51000 ft. If you look closely, you can see the curvature of the earth. Attachment 1498741
Aha, the ulysse speedometer? I always wonder what it would be like to shoot the milky way from that altitude! And did you ever fly at night above 50 north? The Aurora's must be spectacular!
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