Learjet 35

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Learjet 35/36
Gates Learjet 35A AN0385420.jpg
Learjet 35A
Role Business jet
Manufacturer Learjet
First flight 22 August 1973
Status Operational
Produced 1973-1994
Number built 738
Developed from Learjet 25

The Learjet Model 35 and Model 36 are a series of American multi-role business jets and military transport aircraft manufactured by Learjet. When used by the United States Air Force they carry the designation C-21A.

The aircraft are powered by two Garrett TFE731-2 turbofan engines. Its cabin can be arranged for 6-8 passengers. The longer-range Model 36 has a shortened passenger area to provide more space in the aft fuselage for fuel tanks.

The engines are mounted in nacelles on the sides of the aft fuselage. The wings are equipped with single-slotted flaps. The wingtip fuel tanks distinguish the design from other aircraft having similar functions.


The concept which became the LJ35 began as the Learjet 25BGF (with GF referring to "Garrett Fan"), a Learjet 25 with a then-new TFE731 turbofan engine mounted on the left side in place of the 25's General Electric CJ610 turbojet engine. This testbed aircraft first flew in May, 1971.[1] As a result of the increased power and reduced noise of the new engine, Learjet further improved the design, and instead of being simply a variant of the 25, it became its own model, the 35.

Operational history

In 1976 American professional golfer Arnold Palmer used a Learjet 36 to establish a new round-the-world class record of 22,894 miles (36990 km) completed in 57 hours 25 minutes 42 seconds.[2]

Learjet 35s made the bulk of Escuadrón Fénix during the 1982 Falklands War mainly on diversion flights.

Production on the 35/36 series ceased in 1994.[3]

As of January, 2007, the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board database[4] lists 19 fatal accidents for the 35/35A, and two for the 36/36A.


The Learjet 35A.
Finnish Air Force Learjet 35AS.

Learjet 35

The original Model 35 was powered by two TFE731-2-2A engines and was 13 inches longer than its predecessor, the Model 25. First flight of the prototype Model 35 was on 22 August 1973, and the aircraft was FAA certified in July, 1974. It could carry up to eight passengers. There were 64 base-model 35s built.[3]

Learjet 35A

The Model 35A is an upgraded Model 35 with TFE731-2-2B engines and a range of 2,789 miles, with a fuel capacity of 931 US gallons (3,524 L) with refueling accomplished at ground level through each wingtip tank. It was introduced in 1976, replacing the 35. Over 600 35As were built, with a production line that ended with serial number 677, in 1993.[3]

On February 12, 1996, a Learjet 35A, N10BD,[5] owned by Cable Television Founder Bill Daniels and piloted by Mark E. Calkins, Charles Conrad, Jr., Paul Thayer, and D. Miller completed an around-the-world flight in a record 49 hrs, 21 min, and 8 sec. The record remains standing as of 2015.[6] This aircraft is now on display in Terminal C of Denver International Airport.[7]

Learjet 36
The Model 36 is essentially identical to the 35, except that it has a larger fuselage fuel tank, giving it 500 miles longer range, but reducing the passenger area's length by 18 inches (0.46 m). It was certified, along with the 35, in July, 1974.
Learjet 36A
Like the 35A, the Model 36A has upgraded engines and a higher maximum gross weight. It was introduced in 1976, replacing the 36.[3]

Military variants

A C-21A Learjet attached to the North Dakota Air National Guard's (NDANG) 119th Fighter Wing.
The C-21A is an "off the shelf" military variant of the Learjet 35A, with room for eight passengers and 42 ft³ (1.26 m³) of cargo. In addition to its normal role, the aircraft is capable of transporting litters during medical evacuations. Delivery of the C-21A fleet began in April 1984 and was completed in October 1985.

There are 38 Air Force active duty aircraft, and 18 Air National Guard aircraft in the C-21A fleet. On 1 April 1997, all continental U.S.-based C-21As were realigned under Air Mobility Command, with the 375th Airlift Wing at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, as the lead command. C-21As stationed outside the continental United States are assigned to the theater commanders.[8]

Not a U.S. military designation. Electronic warfare training version of the Learjet 35A.
Not a U.S. military designation. Maritime patrol, anti-submarine warfare version of the Learjet 35A, equipped with a search radar, FLIR, infra-red linescanner, ESM and MAD systems, high-resolution TV, plus a hardpont under each wing, able to carry up to 454-kg (1,000-lb) in weight.
Not a U.S. military designation. Reconnaissance version of the Learjet 35A, equipped with a long-range oblique photography cameras, side-looking synthetic aperture radar, podded surveillance camera systems.
A Combat support variant of the Learjet 35A for the Japan Air self Defense Force (JASDF). At least six built.
Not a U.S. military designation. Reconnaissance version of the Learjet 36A, equipped with a long-range oblique photography cameras, SLAR and a surveillance camera system.
Not a U.S. military designation. Utility transport, training version of the Learjet 36A. Initially known as U-36A1. Equipped with a missile seeker simulator in addition to a radar, avionics, firing training assessment devices, an ejector pylon, a special communications system, a target towing system and a jammer system. Four were built for the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force. Modification of both the U-36A1 and U-36 was carried out by Shin Meiwa Industry co., Ltd. (SMIC) at its Tokushima plant.

Notable accidents and incidents


Civilian operators

The Learjet 35 is operated by private, corporate and air taxi operators.

Military operators

 Saudi Arabia
 United Arab Emirates
 United States

Specifications (Learjet 36A)

Data from Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1980–81[26]

General characteristics


  • Maximum speed: 471 knots (542 mph, 872 km/h) at 25,000 ft (7,600 m)
  • Cruise speed: 418 knots (481 mph, 774 km/h) at 45,000 ft (14,000 m) (econ. cruise)
  • Stall speed: 96 knots (111 mph, 178 km/h) (wheels and flaps down)
  • Range: 2,874 nmi (3,290 mi, 5,295 km) (4 passengers)
  • Service ceiling: 45,000 ft (13,700 m)
  • Rate of climb: 4,525 ft/min (6.7 m/s)
  • Take-off run to 30 ft (9 m): 4,784 ft (1,458 m)
  • Landing run from 50 ft (15 m): 2,884 ft (879 m)

See also

Related lists


  1. The Learjet 35, 36 & 31 at Airliners.net
  2. [1]
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Learjet 30 Series Information from Spectrajet
  4. NTSB database query
  5. "Video of N10BD in flight".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "General Aviation World Records, Sub-class C-1f, turbojet. Perform a Record Number Search for 3113 by clicking Records Tab, More Records Button, then entering Record Number 3113 in the search". Fédération Aéronautique Internationale.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Mounting N10BD in C Concourse of Denver Intl Airport".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. C-21A Learjet at GlobalSecurity.org
  9. [2]
  10. [3]
  11. [4]
  12. DefenseLink news release of C-21 accident
  13. NTSB accident brief of Ethiopia shoot-down
  14. Aircraft Accident Brief, N47BA
  15. accident description from the Aviation Safety Network database
  16. Accident report from the Bureau d'études et d'Analyses
  17. [5]
  18. Folha Online - Cotidiano - Queda de avião destrói duas casas e interdita outras duas em SP - 04/11/2007
  19. [6]
  20. Hoyle Flight International 8–14 December 2015, p. 32.
  21. Hoyle Flight International 8–14 December 2015, p. 34.
  22. Hoyle Flight International 8–14 December 2015, p. 35.
  23. Hoyle Flight International 8–14 December 2015, p. 37.
  24. Hoyle Flight International 8–14 December 2015, p. 41.
  25. Hoyle Flight International 8–14 December 2015, p. 45.
  26. Taylor 1980, p. 342–343.
  • Hoyle, Craig (8–14 December 2015). "World Air Forces". Flight International. Vol. 188 no. 5517. pp. 26–53.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Taylor, John W. R. (1980). Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1980–81. London: Jane's Publishing Company. ISBN 0 7106-0705-9.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

Media related to Learjet 35 at Wikimedia Commons