Learjets were the industry leaders that started the private jet industy. Learjet aircraft continues to follow its lengthy business jet legacy as the most trusted light jet platform among Fortune 50 and 500 companies.Lear's initial designs were based upon an experimental Marvel military aircraft, substituting fuselage-mounted turbojet engines for ducted fan turbo shaft engines. That initial design was abandoned and the final Learjet design was adapted from an abortive 1950s Swiss ground-attack fighter aircraft, the FFA P-16.
Bombardier Aerospace purchased the Learjet in 1990. The aircraft were then marketed as the "Bombardier Learjet Family". On October 10, 1990, the Learjet 60 mid-sized aircraft had its first flight, followed on October 7, 1995 by the Learjet 45. In October 2007 Bombardier Learjet launched a brand new aircraft program, the Learjet 85. It was the first FAR Part-25 all-composite business aircraft.
Bombardier celebrated the 45th anniversary of the first flight by a Learjet with 2008's 'Year of Learjet' campaign. One of its highlights was British Formula One racing driver Lewis Hamilton racing a Learjet and winning an event at the Farnborough Air Show.