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The Learjet 23
is an American
six to eight seat (two crew and four to six passengers) twin-engined, high speed business jet
. Manufactured by Learjet
, the LJ23 was revolutionary in the aviation world.
The Model 23 has its roots in a proposed fighter aircraft for Switzerland
known as the FFA P-16
, designed by Hans-Luzius Studer. Although the fighter was not built, William Powell Lear, Sr.
recognized the design's potential and established Swiss American Aviation Corporation (SAAC) to produce the aircraft as the SAAC Lear Jet 23
. The company was moved to Wichita, Kansas
where production was started on the first Model 23 on February 7, 1962. The first flight of the Learjet 23 took place on October 7, 1963, and on October 13, 1964, the first production aircraft was delivered.
With this jet a completely new market for fast and efficient business aircraft was opened. The LJ23 is considered as a model for a whole set of similar aeroplanes which remain in production.
Production of the Learjet 23 stopped in 1966 after a total of 104 had been built. In 1998 there were still 39 LJ23s in use. A total of 27 LJ23s have been lost or damaged beyond repair through accidents during the aircraft's lengthy career, the most recent in 2008.