Now Playing

Rare Air

Lift off in style with the revolutionary Learjet 85.

The Learjet 85 is the first business jet to feature a carbon composite fuselage and wings.

Passengers enjoy the interior from British firm Design Q, known for their work in the luxury automobile world.

It’s shaping up to be quite a year for aviation. Just as Boeing releases the hugely anticipated Dreamliner, set to change commercial flight forever through a slew of technological innovations, Bombardier Aerospace is poised to redefine private flight with the brand-new Learjet 85. While the Dreamliner is as good as it gets for the ticketed crowd, life is looking pretty sweet for those who have a cool $20 million on hand to purchase their own Learjet 85 (

So, what justifies the hefty price tag? There are a multitude of answers. Not only is this Learjet’s largest aircraft ever, it’s also the first business jet built primarily from carbon fiber composite materials. That means its built from a “clean sheet” design that requires far less paneling than lesser jets, translating to a lighter, more aerodynamic and fuel-efficient vehicle. As a result, the Learjet 85 has a top speed of approximately 600 mph. With six single seats and a three-place divan it’s capable of carrying, on intercontinental flights, up to four passengers, and, on shorter flights, eight.

The need for less construction material is also partly responsible for a much larger cabin—50 percent larger, in fact, than on previous Learjets. And what a cabin it is. In addition to state-of-the-art aviation technology, jet-setters will enjoy an unprecedentedly luxurious interior conceived by Design Q, a British firm known for their work with such high-end automotive brands as Aston Martin, Ferrari and Maserati. From the white leather seats to sleek black surfaces, passengers will have no doubt that they’re travelling in style. Need to take a power nap before you reach New York? Any four of the six full single-seats have the capacity to recline into full-berth position. When you wake up, enjoy high-definition entertainment or surf the web on wireless.

If you’re enticed but don’t have $20 million set aside, don’t fret just yet. Fractional jet ownership service Flexjet, which is also owned by Bombardier Aerospace, has an inside line on 21 Learjet 85s—and will be the only such service to offer them as part of their fleet. And, as you might expect, one can purchase a Flexjet card ( for considerably less than the price of the jet, while reaping all of the rarefied benefits.