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Learjet 35/36

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Learjet 35/36
Swiss Luftwaffe Learjet 35A.
Type Business jet
Manufacturer Learjet
Maiden flight August 22, 1973
Status Operational
Primary user United States Air Force
Developed from Learjet 25

The Learjet Model 35 and Model 36 are a series of multi-role business jets and military transports (designated by the U.S. Air Force as C-21A). Powered by two Garrett TFE731-2 turbofan engines, the 35 and 36 require a crew of two and can carry from six to eight passengers. With a speed of 440 knots, the 35 and 36 are among the fastest business jets. The 35 can seat seven passengers, with an eighth passenger on the jumpseat immediately behind the copilot. The Model 36 is a longer range version, and thus has two fewer seats in order to make room for more fuel.

The turbofans are pod-mounted on the sides of the rear fuselage. The slightly swept wings have hydraulically actuated, single-slotted flaps. The aircraft has a retractable tricycle landing gear, single steerable nose gear and multiple-disc hydraulic brakes. The wingtip fuel tanks distinguish the design from other aircraft having similar functions.

The safety and operational capabilities of the 35 and 36 are increased by the autopilot, color weather radar and tactical air navigation system, as well as high frequency, very high frequency and ultra high frequency radios. The aircraft has a flight crew of two and may be flown from either cockpit seat. It is equipped with an automatic navigation system to enhance crew efficiency. When EFIS-equipped, four cathode ray tubes display essential information to the pilots.


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.

Production on the 35/36 series ceased in 1994.[2]

As of January, 2007, the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board database[3] lists 19 fatal accidents for the 35/35A, and two for the 36/36A.



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 took place on August 22, 1973, and the aircraft was FAA certified in July, 1974. It could carry up to eight passengers. There were 64 base-model 35s built.[2]


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 400 35As were built.[2]


The C-21A is a military variant of the Learjet 35A, with room for eight passengers and 42 ft³ (1.26 m³) of cargo. All C-21As are equipped with EFIS. 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 October 1985. Computer Sciences Corporation Applied Technology Division provides full contractor logistics support at seven worldwide locations.

There are 73 Air Force active duty aircraft, and four Air National Guard aircraft in the C-21A fleet. On April 1, 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.[4]


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 number of passengers to six. It was certified with the 35 in July, 1974.


Like the 35A, the Model 36A has upgraded engines and a higher maximum gross weight. It was introduced in 1976, replacing the 36.[2]

Notable incidents

Specifications (C-21A)

Data from {GlobalSecurity}[4]

General characteristics

  • Crew: two (pilot and co-pilot)
  • Capacity: 8 passengers and 3,153 lb (1,433 kg) of cargo
  • Length: 48 ft 7 in (14.71 m)
  • Wingspan: 39 ft 6 in (11.97m)
  • Height: 12 ft 3 in (3.71 mm)
  • Wing area: 253.3ft² (23.53m²)
  • Empty weight: 10,119 lb (4,590kg)
  • Loaded weight: lb (kg)
  • Useful load: lb (kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 18,300 lb (8,235 kg)
  • Powerplant:Garrett TFE731-2-2B turbofan, 3,500 lbf (16kN) each
  • *Unit cost: $3.1 million (fiscal 1996 constant dollars)



External links

Related content

Designation sequence

Related lists
Template:Active military aircraft of the United States

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