The Learjet 23 is a twin-engine business jet in low-wing design that was produced from 1963 by the Lear Jet Corporation. The Learjet 23 was the first designed from the outset as business jet aircraft, and thus is considered the forerunner of all modern machines of this type.
Already in the 1950s, Bill Lear built with the Learstar his first business aircraft, endowed by the airframe of a Lockheed Model 18 Lodestar with new systems and interiors for 8 to 12 passengers. After Lear had sold the licensing rights, he began about 1960, the development of a small business jets turn. The first published illustration in early 1961 showed a low-wing monoplane with two attached to the rear of the aircraft engines, where their enemas were protected by the wings against the ingestion of foreign bodies. To the projected range of 2,000 miles to reach (3200 miles), were provided from the outset Flügelendtanks.
The price should be for a "naked " cell at $ 250,000 and with complete amenities at 325,000 U.S. dollars for delivery in 1963. To keep costs low, the cell should be made in Europe, where at that time the labor costs significantly below those in the United States. There, the engines, instruments and interior should be upgraded. The project Lear founded in April 1960 in Delaware, the parent company of the Swiss American Aviation Corporation. ( SAAC ) with a subsidiary of Aviation Development Corp.. in St. Gallen. In Switzerland, the design was created with the support of Gordon Israel, the F9F Panther was already active as a designer of the Grumman F7F Tigercat Grumman and before he joined Lear in order to develop the Learstar, revised. Further development work in Switzerland also made Hans L. Studer, of the FFA P-16 fighter aircraft of the flight and had vehicle plants Altenrhein constructed, has been largely taken over the wing of the. The project then was named SAAC 23rd
Before construction of the prototypes, some modifications have been made, such as the rear fuselage was lengthened by 51 cm and the engines installed by the same amount back. Similarly, the control surfaces were increased compared to the initial design. FFA should indeed build the prototypes, but are included because of the application of the Mirage III production for the Swiss Air Force, not in mass production. In 1962, the cost of the serial execution were so increased that Lear of the concept of an international production again increased distance and a sole production in the United States foresaw. He founded it in Wichita Lear Jet Corp.. and began the manufacture of prototypes already produced in Europe parts.
The 30-minute maiden flight of the Lear Jet 23 ( the name was later than Learjet written together ) this then revolutionary type was held in Wichita on October 7, 1963. A second prototype took flight test on March 5, 1964. Efforts to FAA certification suffered a setback when, on June 4, 1964 had to perform a belly landing, the first prototype at its 167th flight and then burned. However, the two pilots survived the crash. On 31 July 1964, the FAA certification was confirmed. The number " 23" in the model designation was chosen because the design should satisfy the provisions of section 23 issued by the FAA Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR ). This gave before a weight limit of 12,500 lb ( 5675 kg ). Already on October 3, 1964 was delivered to a customer with the third aircraft, the first machine.
From the model Learjet 23 to 1966 104 series aircraft were built before production was switched to the new model Learjet 24. In 1998, the Learjet 23 or 39 machines in use. A total of 26 aircraft were lost due to accidents. With this aircraft, a completely new market for fast and efficient business aircraft was developed. It is considered a model for a whole series of similar aircraft and will be developed further in this interpretation until today built.
The aircraft has a two-seat cockpit and a cabin for up to six passengers who are accommodated in the seat assembly 1 1. Typically, however, only seats four passengers were installed.