The Learjet 45 was the first redesign since the original Learjet (Model 23) of 1963 and heralded a new era for the super-light jet family. The redesign was overdue to make Learjets more competitive again with newer designs from rival manufacturers.
With its four main variants - Learjet 45, Learjet 45XR, Learjet 40 and Learjet 40XR - the private aircraft was the main product of Bombardier's Learjet Division from the 1990s until the introduction of the Learjet 75 in 2012.
The Learjet Model 45 was positioned in the market in the late 1990s primarily as a competitive rival to the popular Cessna Citation Excel / XLS. Unlike the Cessna, Bombardier's Learjet dispensed with a stand-up cabin, but cruises at a higher speed.
The first flight of the prototype took place with media attention on 7 October 1995, the 32nd anniversary of the first flight of the original Learjet 23. FAA certification was delayed and finally granted in September 1997. The first aircraft were delivered to customers from mid-1998. The Model 45 was the first Learjet to be certified under Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR) Rule Part 25. Compared to previous models, this means more robust system redundancy and guaranteed performance specifications in the aircraft's operations manual.
Bombardier has announced the end of Learjet production on 11 February 2021. The company cited a shift in demand to other newer business jet categories as the reason for the decision to discontinue the iconic Learjet brand. The Learjet was produced for over 60 years and was known for its speed and sleek design.
Advantages of a Learjet 45 as a rental aircraft:
Blazing fast: The Learjet 45 is a fast business jet that can fly at a top speed of Mach 0.81. This means it can cover long distances quickly. This makes it an ideal choice for time-critical business travel to more distant destinations.
Long range: With a maximum range of around 4,000 kilometres, the Learjet 45 can fly non-stop from New York to Los Angeles or from London to Moscow. This gives passengers the opportunity to fly long distances without having to refuel.
Excellent cabin comfort: The Learjet 45 has a spacious cabin that can comfortably seat up to nine passengers. The aircraft cabin is also equipped with a range of amenities, including a fully equipped galley, a private lavatory and a contemporary entertainment system. Even long flights are possible in the Learjet without sacrificing comfort.
Fuel efficiency: The Learjet 45 is renowned for its fuel efficiency. Compared to other business jets of similar size, this results in lower variable travel costs - especially on longer flights. Not infrequently, this performance feature also has a positive impact on rental costs.
Short runway capability: The Learjet can also take off and land from short runways. This makes it a versatile business jet that can fly to a wider range of airports compared to other business jets. This includes many smaller regional airports worldwide.
Disadvantages of a Learjet 45 as a rental aircraft:
Limited storage space: The Learjet 45 has a relatively small luggage compartment. For travel groups with a lot of luggage or bulky items, this could be a weighty disadvantage.
High operating costs: Although the Learjet 45 is known for its fuel efficiency, its operating costs are high compared to other business jets of similar size. This can be a disadvantage for cost-conscious buyers or charter customers. Especially for short-haul flights or low utilisation of the aircraft, this disadvantage is more significant.
The following three jet models are possible charter alternatives should no Learjet 45 be available:
Cessna Citation XLS
The Learjet 45 was developed as an alternative to the Cessna Citation XLS. Therefore, it is not surprising that the Cessna has similar performance features. It offers a spacious cabin where travellers can even stand comfortably. Unlike the Learjet, however, it travels a little slower. Overall, Cessna Citation XLS is also a versatile and reliable aircraft that is a good choice for those looking for a high-performance rental alternative.Compared to the Learjet 45, the Embraer Phenom 300 scores particularly well in terms of range. Travel destinations can be a proud 650 kilometres further away, which the Embraer can fly to without a layover. In addition, the Light Jet is characterised by impressive fuel efficiency. This makes it a cost-effective alternative for those for whom a slightly smaller jet is sufficient. Overall, the Embraer Phenom 300 is a stylish, efficient and reliable aircraft that is a good alternative to the Learjet 45.
The Pilatus PC-24 is the first business jet produced by Pilatus and was hailed as a great success. The business jet from the Swiss manufacturer is characterised above all by its versatility. Therefore, it is difficult to assign it to one of the usual business jet categories. The jet combines the versatility of a turboprop aircraft with the cabin size of a medium-sized jet and the performance of a light jet. As a Learjet alternative, it is particularly suitable when flying to small airports or those considered difficult with unpaved runways.
The Learjet 45 is still an exceptional charter jet today. With a top speed of 861 km/h and a range of over 4,000 kilometres, it is perfect for both short trips and long-haul flights. The business jet's cabin is spacious and comfortable, with room for up to nine passengers and ample luggage space. With advanced avionics and a range of modern entertainment options, the Learjet 45 offers a luxurious flying experience suitable for both business and leisure travel. Its reliability, performance and range continue to make it an industry leader. It is rightly one of the most popular charter jets in its segment.
Aircraft data / Technical data
|Super Light Jet (SLJ)
|Number of units produced
|1995 - 2012
|2 x AlliedSignal TFE731-20 Turbofans
|13 million US dollars (list price variant 45XR)
|1 x rear
|Maximum flight altitude
|Maximum payload with full tank
|Capacity of the most common rental variant
|Cabin (length x width x height)
|6,00 m x 1,55 m x 1,50 m