Everybody wants to save the earth, nobody wants to help mom do the dishes.  --P.J. O'Rourke

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

LearFan 2100

This remarkable airplane captured my imagination when it
appeared in Popular Science Magazine in 1981.  What is truly
remarkable about this plane is how ahead of it's time it turned out
to be.  The last project of Bill Lear (of Lear Jet fame), completed shortly
after his death by his wife, the LearFan was constructed of carbon
fiber, and combined near jet speed with astonishing efficiency.
It used 1/5 of the fuel of a Learjet and 1/3 as much as turboprop
planes of the day. It achieved a car like 10mpg and with a full 
compliment of passengers it was less thirsty per person than
most cars.  It failed FAA certification over concerns about it's
innovative gearbox, with which two engines drove the rear pusher
prop and the extensive use of relatively untested carbon fiber.
Fun fact I learned researching this: Bill Lear invented the 8 track !
Click the link for a vintage promotional video and more info on


Post a Comment