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Thread: Learjet performance and range charts

  1. Default Learjet performance and range charts

    I've made up these two charts of the default Learjet performance and range at various altitudes. Thought they might be useful for anyone flying long distances with it.

    Elmer Fudd

  2. #2

    Default RE: Learjet performance and range charts

    Thanks very much Elmer, I consider these specs all the time. If I'm reading this right you're saying the max range of the Lear 45 at 51,000 feet is 3094 Nautical Miles?

    Flying high I've always made if from Hawaii to the West Coast, but everyone seems to object as the range only appears to be around 2 to 2.2K Nautical Miles and that is cutting it too close. What do you think, would you fly from Hawaii to the West Coast in a Lear 45 or 35?

  3. Default RE: Learjet performance and range charts

    I just flew from Honolulu to San Francisco and had 1350 lbs. of fuel left. I realize that the generally agreed range seems to be 2200 nm or so, but these are the results I got when I did the test. I believe them to be reasonably accurate to about 45,000 feet or so, but can't vouch for the figures from up higher.

    The early 1980s Flying Magazine annuals show that the burn at 41,000 is about the same as I got in the sim.

    I find that not all of the information given in the flight notes is accurate. I haven't gone back to the older issues of Flying to find out what the exact burn is when n2 is 90%, as in a climb.

    I can't say for certain that the results I got at 51,000 are reflective of real world.

    I don't have info on the Lear 45, only the 35 and 55 models.

    I would have to re-read some of the pilot reports from the Lears to see if they mention how much fuel is burned in climb to be sure, but these are the results I got in the sim.

    BTW: it is not possible to climb directly to 51,000 at the climb rates shown. Speed drops off too much towards the end. A step-climb is necessary, as in the real world.

    Hope this helps.

    Elmer Fudd

  4. Default RE: Learjet performance and range charts

    It's really difficult to say. Every source I consult gives me a different answer. The Learjet website says the max range is 2087 nm, but if you divide the fuel carried by the flow, you get more range than that.

    The numbers in my charts, however, would apply at long range cruise speed (about 420 knots), even though the sim gave those numbers at 465 knots. At that speed the burn is considerable higher.

    The fuel burns I got in the sim are a little lower than real world. Example, at 49000 feet it shows 662 pph at 465 kt when real world is 780 pph at 420.

    Elmer Fudd

  5. #5

    Default RE: Learjet performance and range charts

    Thanks Elmer. There's a freeware Learjet 45 XR which I like, it says that the engines are remapped more efficient and have more power to rocket up to cruise altitude, and by this method it saves fuel and extends max range, purely by reaching cruise altitude faster. A very accomplished and noteworthy engineer was saying that in his opinion the overpowered Lear 25(and 23) (zero bipass engines) actually got good fuel economy compared to the competition of the day, by absolutely blasting its' way straight up aggressively to cruise altitude without any problem at all. In contrast he was saying that due to the more fuel efficient high bipass engines which do well at low altitude but lose efficiency at high altitude, that the Lear 35 is not able to climb as easily to cruise altitude as high bipass engines are much weaker at high altitude. This might have been true in many ways, however a real world Lear 35 pilot on this forum has said that the 35 had no problem whatsoever reaching FL390, had plenty of power, but after that would have to step climb to I think FL450. Any way, that engineer is a great guy and has built performance packages to make the Lear 35 perform like the Lear 25 by cleaning up the aerodynamics making it more aerodynamically efficient, and also he cleans up the wing aerodynamics by taming that infamous Lear stall which can flip it over on its' back. For testing the Lear stall, the FAA requires a Lear factory test pilot because it can be so risky.

    With regards to the stated range from the factory, I wonder if that is including IFR minimums. It was a real privilege to be able to listen to the King School's video instruction package, several times, and they had a section on IFR minimums. Unfortunately I don't recall the specifics, I think they said that such a jet requires a 1 hour minimum of fuel in case something goes wrong (can't find Hawaiian Islands).

    The real world Lear 35 pilot on this forum states emphatically that the 35 (45 too most likely) WILL NOT make it to Hawaii.

    The Lear 60 would make it for sure with 3000 NM's range. The Lear 36 might also make it, it is the long range intercontinental version of the Lear 35, however I'm not sure of its' specific range. In past years the 737 with half a passenger load would routinely fly from KSFO to PHNL. I should write to the Lear company and ask them what they think of flying from KSEA or KSFO, or KLAX, to PHNL or PHTO. If you could see how crummy the weather has been over near KSEA this Winter, the first thing you'd want to do is fly to Hawaii!

    In charting courses around the world, I found that there is a route from KSEA to PHNL that only involves short hops well within the capability of the Lear 35 or 45 (doubtful about the 25), and the King Airs. I don't have the specific list of airports, and I'd probably want to update that any way, but the general idea is, start at KSEA, fly to Alaska, then out to the Aleutians, down to Midway, then PHNL. There are a few real world problems with this, such as the Winter weather in the Aleutians can be extremely bad, then I wonder if they offer fuel at Midway? And does it got bugs in it? Then it would be comically bad if you land in the Aleutians or Midway and require any repairs. I'd like to wait for some phenominally bad weather in the Aleutians then download it. It would probably not be as bad as some of the home made bad weather I've whipped up.

    I really love the Learjet series, it's one of the few planes where I actually like learning such fine details. I would like to get a real world Lear manual sometime, I'll have to look around. I have a real 747 manual but it's a few years old. But some of those details are really surprising. And wow, some simple things become very complex in the real world. Additionally, you've probably heard that in the cockpit while taxiing out to the runway the co-pilot may be "heads down" doing the checklist. In the 747 manual however, ALL cockpit crew members are required to crane their heads out the window to assist in taxiing. Those big wings could just totally knock down a McDonald's sign and keep going without even noticing it! Ha ha!

    Attached is me flying the Jaguar livery Lear 45 from KSEA to PHNL.

  6. Default RE: Learjet performance and range charts

    As I recall, Learjet quotes their range specs with VFR reserves, (which in Canada are 45 minutes fuel when reaching destination. IFR reserves are: fuel to destination, thence to an alternate, thence 45 minutes at normal cruise speed). As best as I can recall, there was a time when there wasn't a VFR minimum fuel requirement in the US, but I believe that has changed.

    The 45XR is quoted by Bombardier as having a range of 2087 nm, and the distance from KSFO to PHNL is 2080, leaving 7 nm plus VFR reserves. It would seem to me that with a tailwind, you would be legal, with a headwind, you would not.

    When I deduct the fuel to take-off and climb from the max fuel, then deduct the reserve of one hour, then divide the remainder by the hourly flow and multiply by cruise speed, I come up with a the same range spec as the factory. The results in the default Learjet are a little better, since it shows the same burn at 465 as the real world burn at 420. The fuel to climb is also a little less. The burn at Fl 490 is also less at 662 vs 780 real world.

    Since what I get in the sim is what I get, that is what I use. Since the default Learjet in the sim already exceeds actual performance, I wouldn't want to download anything that would improve on it, as it wouldn't be realistic.

    I think with the prevailing winds in that part of the world, getting from PHNL to the coast wouldn't be too much of a problem. Going the other way probably would be. On the trip I'm doing now, I went around from west to east, so it all worked out.

    Elmer Fudd

  7. #7

    Default RE: Learjet performance and range charts

    Hi Elmer,

    Check out the Al Whitney Learjets. I've become a fan of his for some time, he has produced freeware Learjets going all the way back to FS98. He has an FS9 LJ also, the "AOK" Learjet 45. His Learjets fly beautifully first of all, I'm flying a few right now in FS98, but they really came to my attention when in FS2000 with his yellow Swiss SAR Ver 2.0 Learjet 45 he diligently modified the FDE for accurate fuel usage.

    I don't know specifically if he changed the FDE in his FS9 Learjet the "AOK" Learjet 45 to give accurate fuel usage, but I do know that his AOK Learjet, along with all his previous Learjets fly very beautifully. Thank you Al Whitney! More more give us more!

    Another nice Learjet is the Rob Young Learjet 35A in Fly!2K, I just landed it after a flight in South America. He produced an award winning Dassault Falcon 50 for FS9, FS8, and FS7, they are not as high performing as his Fly!2K Learjet, however it does give you an idea of what Rob Young's flight dynamics are like. He also did the Pilot's SR-71 I believe. One of my favorite Rob Young aircraft is his F-104G for FS2000, I have it in FS2004 also.

    I did some brief checking again on the range of the Lear 35/A and 36/A, but didn't really find what I was looking for, the range in miles was not specified as Nautical or Statute Miles in the listing I found, but the Lear 36A range was something like 500 Statute or Nautical miles added range over the 35. That should probably make it to Hawaii. I should probably try to modify a 35A to have the range and fuel usage of a 36A, I've never tried doing that but I might poke around in the aircraft.cfg file and see what I can do.

    These planes are very beautiful, very inspiring. I think that Ferraris are fantastic, but, I don't think they compare to a Learjet. Gulfstreams are a lot larger, and several times the cost, they're incredible also.

    Check out these cool Learjet photo downloads from Bombardier, the following photos are also from the Bombardier website:

  8. Default RE: Learjet performance and range charts

    Pretty amazing website. I've downloaded the pix and the screensaver. I'm pretty sure you're right about the 36A making it to Hawaii, although I haven't checked. Again, it would depend on the headwind. Luckily, winter headwinds sometimes decrease as you go above FL450, so that's a help.

    I'll have to check out some of Al Whitney's planes. I can't believe you're still playing with FS98. I never cared for that program. I was so disappointed with it that I called Micro$oft to complain about it, and they sent me FS9 by way of compensation. (I had been using FS8).

    One of the things I did notice in FS98 and newer is that the aircraft sounds aren't very realistic. The Cessnas sound more like a bus, and the Learjet has an angry-bee buzz to it that I don't care for. The sounds in FSFW95 were much better, in my opinion.

    I'll do a search for the Whitney planes. Thanks for the heads-up.

    Elmer Fudd

  9. #9

    Default RE: Learjet performance and range charts


    It seems like sometimes with successive products that some great features are lost and forgotten about. The Learjet sound file in FS98 sounds more like a Buick V8 with good exhaust mufflers. That used to really bother me, because I had started with Fly!2K, which still has some of the very best sound files for the Raytheon Hawker 800XP, and the Beech King Air B200. Some modern sound files are unbelievably bad.

    In addition to the Fly!2K sound files mentioned above, here are some other nice sound files. For FS98 there is a Lockheed 1049H Constellation produced by Dave McQueen August 1999. This plane included an incredible sound file made by Bernd Drefahl, which was recorded inside the original"MATS" Constellation during a flight in Switzerland in August 1998. The sounds from the wind, flaps, and tires touching down are all authentic!

    The Martinair repaint of the Meljet 777-200LR file name appears to be, , has an incredible sound file, wow! I have come across some nice Airbus sound files also, and the MD11 Aircatalonia Cargo plane also has a great sound file, plus I think it has a very good panel also.

    I just try to be patient, and enjoy all the incredible variety, and the better I become the more I'm able to make adjustments or find better files to plug into the aircraft.

    I'm sorry you disliked FS98 so much, I was very surprised to find that it still seems to have a very good following, even now freeware addon developers are releasing new planes and scenery. I've flown some really cool planes in FS98, like the Airbus A350-900, MD-12 the American built A380, a couple of yf-23 Black Widows that fly so smooth I installed them in FS9 also. There are some nice Gulfstreams, and the Whitney Learjets, but probably most of my time has been spent flying the CVA 747-475, and like the Johan Dees FS98 747 flight dynamics files I came across (later became a big time FDE person for POSKY). It was very nice of MS to send you FS9.

    I've complained to MS about the activation programming in FSX. It would seem logical from the perspective of an enthusiast user of FSX that you should be completely undeterred in your capability to swap hardware and upgrade hardware components, however many hardware changes trigger the new Microsoft "kill switch" which shuts down FSX, requiring that you then call MS and re-activate it. And what happens when support for these products is dropped, will they default to no longer needing activation, or will they shut down permanently? Also to make things even more difficult, while you're working on your hardware to make FSX perform better, such hardware changes will also shut down Office 2007, it has a "kill switch" also. The same happens with Vista, and you better have the RETAIL version of Vista, otherwise you only have a handful of activations, then you have to buy a new license. One reviewer from has said that even small changes in hardware will cause Vista not to boot up, I believe he said he is using the "RTM" edition of Vista, whatever that is. It all seems very unfriendly. Why would MS be so unfriendly to enthusiasts who spend a ton of money on these products? I think there are two answers, first the stated purpose of stopping piracy, but secondly I believe that this activation programming is also a sales and marketing tool. First of all they meter out activations, less money few activations, more money unlimited activations. And also with such activation programming it seems to me like they keep an extremely tight hold on each and every customer, which I think is for marketing purposes. I've heard that MS actually has a webpage warning of the dangers and pitfalls of using Linux products. Perhaps they should work harder on being more friendly to their customers, instead of working to alienate them and drive them to Linux.

    I have flight simulators from FS98 through FS9 installed and running, except for FS2002, just purchased that and am trying to decide which OS to install for it. I was tempted to use Win 2000 Pro, however OOPS! Accidently scratched the top surface of the cd, and pulled a big chunk of aluminimum data layer off of the disk. Now it is inert! So I have been thinking about buying another licensed copy of Win ME. If installed carefully ME seems to run well, and it addresses 1.5 gb's of ram, plus it will not shut down when I upgrade my hardware, which is an absolute necessity because I need countless upgrades!

    I want to get a full suite of MS products though eventually, Vista Ultimate, Office 2007, and FSX DLX, because I think it is important to be on my resume, plus DX10 is supposed to be incredible. But I'm interested in Linux and Mac products now also, because I do not like having a large mega sized company in control over whether my computer functions or not. I have a hard enough time with software and hardware to also have to worry about a mega corporation turning on and off the functionality of my computer despite my having paid real money for these very expensive products. I think, because I have done very important and critical work in the past, in which I can not afford to have anything shut down on me, I think I will have to look into having a dual boot with Vista or XP operating alongside of Linux. That way, if at a critical moment Vista, XP, or Office 2007 shuts down due to the Microsoft "kill switch", I can just restart and boot up Linux, and keep working until the emergency has passed, then go online or on the telephone and jump through all of MS's hoops to become re-activated, after the emergency is passed.

    With this power of theirs however, I wonder if it could be possible that a legitimate customer could be denied activation, either through misunderstanding, or if they decide they just don't like that person any more? They seemed sceptical of me when I was brand new to computing when I was trying to reinstall Win 98 even though I had my green and white certificate of authenticity right in front of me. Then sometime later I was trying to install a real genuine authentic FS98, but couldn't find my cert of auth, so I called and asked for help, 3 out of 4 clerks didn't even recognize the program! The 4th said they could not help me at all because support had been dropped for that product. Fortunately for me, by pure luck I found my FS98 cert of auth and was able to install FS98 with no help whatsoever from MS. So I can't help but feel some anxiety over their activation programming which includes their "kill switch" every time you upgrade hardware, and that every third activation you have to explain and convince them that you were acting legitimately and qualify for activation, because all you were doing was upgrading hardware or overclocking, etc. But one person said he had to activate after simply downloading the new .Net update, in the future when MS is less inclined to please everyone, will they be sceptical about such an explaination, sounds to me like there's no such thing as de-activation due to a .NEt update, and yet it happened.

    Sorry if I'm getting too long winded, when you were saying that good sound files were lost going from FS95 to FS98, I just thought I would elaborate on that theme, that often with newer products, some very good features are lost. In the case of the newest products from MS, we lose our freedom to freely upgrade our hardware without oversight and approval from MS. I wonder if this new activation programming is going to be objectionable ot the public, or if it is going to be easily accepted and just become a part of ordinary life, spending time with Microsoft to get your paid for MS products functioning once again, just like an old car that routinely needs a jumpstart and belt 'o starter fluid--aahhh the good 'ol days, before the luxury and comfort of a Caddy. If I were to become wildly rich and famous, for example if I invent a customized semi-truck steering wheel knob that can be transferred easily from one truck to another, and which also plays Elvis tunes(!), and then use the bucks to buy a Lear 60 or Gulfstream 5, that plane is not going to be a share-plane with activation programming which turns on or off at the direction of the manufacturer!

  10. Default RE: Learjet performance and range charts

    I can understand your frustration with Micro$oft. It really does make you wonder if it's all about "piracy" or "marketing" as you suggest.

    I had the same reservations with activation when I had to buy two new computers, and they came with XP. Fortunately, I haven't had any problems with it, so far. When I did O/S reinstalls, it all seemed to be pretty much automatic. Although, it does, as you suggest, make you wonder what will happen when Micro$oft no longer supports XP. Makes me wonder if I will be able to activate if I need to do a reinstall, or if they will make me buy a new O/S (which won't run on my current computer) or a new computer, just to suit them. That sort of thing should be illegal.

    I won't be rushing out to buy FSX anytime soon, as I would need a new computer to run it, which is not in the cards right now. My current computer barely runs FS9, when I start cranking up the settings.

    I've heard a lot of people are having problems with FSX, people with computers much stronger than mine. I agree about the activation in FSX, it's unnecessary. In FS2002 you don't need to have the disk in the machine to run it, in FS9, you do. And you can't copy the disks, so there's no way anyone can just give a copy of it to a friend, or install it on a friend's computer.

    I think Micro$oft is a little bit power-hungry, with all of the control they want to have over people's computers. Makes me wonder what it's really all about.

    I think you'll find FS2002 a bit of a disappointment after flying FS9. Hope you got it cheap.

    Elmer Fudd

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