Learjet. For generations, the name has been synonymous with business jets, with more than 3,000 of the small private jet planes delivered since the first Learjet 23 flew in 1963.
In an age when nonstop flights were few, connections long and schedules irregular – and Zoom meetings the stuff of “Star Trek” rather than reality – the Learjet became a must-have for corporations needing to whisk executives around the world, and for Hollywood stars jetting from location to location.
With a purebred lineage from an experimental Swiss fighter jet, Learjets soared 50,000 feet above the earth, taking their name from aviation and electronics pioneer Bill Lear (who would also quickly go on to develop the 8-track tape, a precursor to cassette tapes).
But in February this year, Learjet’s parent company, Bombardier, announced it’s ending mainstream production of the iconic plane, instead refocusing its efforts on its more roomy Global and Challenger business jets.