Learavia LearFan 2100

1981

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Learavia LearFan 2100

The story of the LearFan is a complex one. Designed by Bill Lear as a cheaper alternative to business jets, with nearly the same performance but a pusher propeller, the LearFan became the first business aircraft with a composite (carbon fibre) structure, as opposed to conventional metal construction. Unfortunately in the late 1970s this was all a bit radical for the Federal Aviation Administration, who repeatedly refused certification of the LearFan. Bill Lear died in 1978 and his widow carried on the programme, seeing the first of three prototypes fly in 1981. Problems with the gearbox, which managed the two PT-6 turboprops on a common shaft, and structural problems with the new composite materials caused costs to escalate, and despite orders and options at one time for over 130 aircraft, the company went bankrupt in 1984 with debts approaching 500 million dollars.

FACTS AND FIGURES

© The LearFan was made almost entirely of graphite/epoxy and Kevlar composite materials, and it was one of the first aircraft to make such extensive use of them.

© Some critics have said the LearFan was designed too much like a conventional aircraft made of composites to make the best use of the strengths of these new materials.

© Putting the propeller at the rear reduced drag and helped the LearFan approach jet speeds.

© Some unfinished LearFans were used by NASA to test composite structures, being dropped from towers in controlled crashes.

© To meet a deadline of the end of 1980, the LearFan's first flight was officially recorded as 'December 32nd'.

Learavia LearFan 2100

Specification 
 CREW2
 PASSENGERS8
 ENGINE2 x 650hp Pratt & Whitney PT6B 35F tutboshafts
 WEIGHTS
  Take-off weight3334 kg7350 lb
 DIMENSIONS
  Wingspan11.99 m39 ft 4 in
  Length12.50 m41 ft 0 in
  Height3.70 m12 ft 2 in
 PERFORMANCE
  Max. speed684 km/h425 mph

Comments1-20 21-40 41-60
Dale Leier, e-mail, 04.06.2022 01:05

By way of interest, my home town is where PWC builds the PT6 engines. Rather than using 2 X PT6B-35F engines, the reliability, power and efficiency of the PT6E-67XP means we can eliminate the complex transmission and dual driveshaft configuration. Not only would this be lighter, it would also be more economical to purchase and operate.

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Sgt. Ronald Burcham, e-mail, 01.06.2022 12:10

I'm trying to contact Trudy the wife of Bubba, Vance, Ramsey. He was a Lear painter about 1981,82 who relocated to Sparks from Savannah, Georgia. The Ramsey's tried to help me gain employment at Lear to no avail. I left a box of books and a tin of Kodachrome slides with them when I gave up seeking employment at Lear and returned to Georgia.

I'm trying one more to find the box of slides and books too. I am interested in finding the 150 Kodak slides I took of my time in Japan, the Philippines, Hong Kong, and South Vietnam.

The slides are very distinct. There are slides of an apartment fire taken in Japan and also winter shots in Atsugi, Japan, too. There are pictures of the Emperor's Palace of ducks swimming in the moat and of the Samurai mounted on a horse in front of the palace which is identical to the photo my uncle took of the same statue in 1945 except that my photos show skyscrapers and high-rise apartments, and my uncle's shows total destruction. There are also many photos of Hong Kong's Tiger Balm gardens

I am interested in the slides and will pay a reward for their recovery starting at $2.00 per slide and photograph. The more of the original photos recovered, the higher the rewards.

Ronald L. Burcham
Sgt. USMC DaNang SVM 1965

ronb28135@yahoo.com or 810-824-3232 or 810-488-1892

reply

Reza Karamooz, e-mail, 16.05.2022 19:04

I own a Lear Fan and would like to connect with other Lear Fan enthusiasts. www dot LearFan dot club

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Karen Schwarz, e-mail, 13.08.2022 Reza Karamooz

Cool. My Dad worked on the Lear Fan. He was a structural engineer. Stress testing

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Reza Karamooz, e-mail, 13.08.2022 Karen Schwarz

Karen,

I would love the opportunity to speak with you about the Lear Fan. Any chance we can get on a quick call, so I can ask you a few questions about your dad's work on the Lear Fan?

I also have known Bill Lear's son (John) who recently passed away, and know Shanda (Bill Lear's oldest daughter). I have a weekly call with Bill Lear's assistant - Vicki. I think she about 80 years old.

My email is reza@gradd.co and my personal cell number is: 480-205-5805.

I'd love to hear from you.

Thanks,
Reza

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DensityDuck, e-mail, 29.09.2021 20:06

As far as I know there was only one Lear Fan crash tested by NASA. They swung it from a big trapeze into a hard gear-up landing, then spent three years making computer models of the event to validate FEM analysis code.

if you Google "Lear Fan 2100 Crash Test" you can find several images, including the moment of impact and the remains of the fuselage after the test.

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Mark Watson, e-mail, 20.07.2021 04:28

For anyone that doesn't already know, Facebook has a "fans of the lear fan" page.

reply

asdf, e-mail, 20.04.2022 Mark Watson

is there any alternative to facebook?

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Garry, e-mail, 01.05.2021 01:57

I was an A&P for Lear Fan in 1981, working experimental in Stead. The skin was carbon graphite, with the engine nacelles being kevlar. The twin driveshafts induced a lot of vibration in the airframe, in addition to the prop, engine gearbox (Western Gear), and aerodynamics. Hank Beaird was the chief test pilot when I was de-FOD'ing the ramp (pushing a broom) in front of the experimental hangar (where the Rare Bear kept a spare prop). Hank was always upbeat when he came in after a test flight. This time was no exception when I asked him, "How did it go?" Came the usual reply- "Great, just great!" as he entered the trailer office (that had a window open for ventilation) for a test flight debrief. The door slammed shut and immediately Hank was shouting, "That damned airplane is going to kill me!" referring to the vibration. Afterwards, that became a running joke. When we were having a difficult day, we'd say, "Today is great, just great!"

The design of the entry door was a mechanically complex affair created by an engineer who had designed camera mechanisms. The emergency egress system was an elaborate affair- using multiple stages of systems. If the attitude control became an issue, the pilot would detonate a mechanical guillotine that would chop the pusher propeller ("fan") off allowing a ballistic parachute to deploy from between the V tail. If that didn't do it, they resorted to detonating a linear charge of plastic explosives positioned around the cabin entry door on the INSIDE of the cabin. That would cut skin and support structure, hopefully leaving a clean hole. The pilot would then actuate a pneudraulic actuator that would drive the pilot's seat to in front of the gaping hole and would rotate the seat so that it was facing outwards. He would disconnect his 5 point harness. To the left of the pilot was a bulkhead that had a rocket engine on the other side from the pilot. The rocket engine had a long lanyard with an attaching fitting. The pilot would grab the lanyard attachment and hook it to a ring (on top of his helmet) that connected to a chest harness. He would then actuate the rocket and it would reportedly drag him about 100 yards before the chute would deploy. The co-pilot would have to disconnect his 5 point, hang on to an overhead knotted rope that he would use to position himself into the pilot's hopefully now vacated seat. (Did you disconnect your 5 point?) He would have to attach the rocket lanyard to the ring on his helmet and punch it off, hopefully following his compatriot (or maybe dragging what was left with him).

Because of the rush to TC, some things were sometimes overlooked, like conformity inspections of fabricated parts. Mechanics were told to grab parts out of Inspection before Inspection had time to evaluate conformity to engineering and then sign off. When the FAA stumbled across these incidents, they finally decreed that because the FAA had no assurance if the parts on the airplane were to spec, then none of the data generated (including telemetry) was going to be accepted for certification. Thus, Learfan needed to make another test article, following the established FAA guidelines for documentation. I attribute this screw up by Learfan as the kiss of death as costs rocketed.

The Lear Fan had problems with static build up in the fuselage generating stray currents. One of the mechanics had an engine nacelle off and had his arms around the PT6, getting a face full of engine. Somehow a firebottle squib fired and released this huge cloud of halon that enveloped the tech. It startled him so badly that he disentangled himself from the engine and he lept off the stand, running in midair, like a cartoon character.

Lear Fan was entertaining an Arab oil sheik for a week who was interested in buying multiple aircraft. He was wined and dined- no expense was spared. Then on a Friday someone noticed that the sheik was in the local newspaper. He was an escaped mental patient from Washington.
As mechanics, sometimes we had to grub for material and once we entered into one of Bill Lear's warehouses. There was something low slung on the floor, under a tarp. Underneath was his steam powered race car! Very cool.

Just some random stories. Cheers

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Karen Schwarz, e-mail, 13.08.2022 Garry

Did you know my Dad Tom Schwarz and his co-corkers (Structural test engineers): Tom Schwarz, Mike Murphy, and Roy Benson?
We were even neighbors with Hank Beard, the test pilot.
I stood next to Moya Lear during the test flight.
I also still have Lear Fan shirts, and a coffee mug that reads that it flew 12-32-80.
~Karen Schwarz

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Sgt. Ronald Burcham, e-mail, 01.06.2022 Garry

I'm trying to contact Trudy the wife of Bubba, Vance, Ramsey. He was a Lear painter about 1981,82 who relocated to Sparks from Savannah, Georgia. The Ramsey's tried to help me gain employment at Lear to no avail. I left a box of books and a tin of Kodachrome slides with them when I gave up seeking employment at Lear and returned to Georgia.

I'm trying one more to find the box of slides and books too. I am interested in finding the 150 Kodak slides I took of my time in Japan, the Philippines, Hong Kong, and South Vietnam.

The slides are very distinct. There are slides of an apartment fire taken in Japan and also winter shots in Atsugi, Japan, too. There are pictures of the Emperor's Palace of ducks swimming in the moat and of the Samurai mounted on a horse in front of the palace which is identical to the photo my uncle took of the same statue in 1945 except that my photos show skyscrapers and high-rise apartments, and my uncle's shows total destruction. There are also many photos of Hong Kong's Tiger Balgardens

I am interested in the slides and will pay a reward for their recovery starting at $2.00 per slide and photograph. The more of the original photos recovered, the higher the rewards.

Ronald L. Burcham
Sgt. USMC DaNang SVM 1965

ronb28135@yahoo.com or 810-824-3232 or 810-488-1892

reply

william graham, e-mail, 07.01.2021 15:18

Hi everyone, after Learfan Belfast I worked 35years with Airbus, I'm writing up my history, all these comments bring back great memories. We were so far ahead of the curve in composite technology and ways of working. I had the good fortune to see the aircraft in Reno when I went there with Ozzie Morris QC Manager, replaced by David Skilling. Well remember some of my US colleagues; Tom Rose, Del Strelow, there was a Geff? and Marvin working there also. I worked with Larry Larkin, he was QC from Reno ex FAA?. Billy Moore was Head of Production. Anyone out there with more names, exhausted my research on the Belfast side.

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Ronald L. Burcham, e-mail, 01.06.2022 william graham

I'm trying to contact Trudy the wife of Bubba, Vance, Ramsey. He was a Lear painter about 1981,82 who relocated to Sparks from Savannah, Georgia. The Ramsey's tried to help me gain employment at Lear to no avail. I left a box of books and a tin of Kodachrome slides with them when I gave up seeking employment at Lear and returned to Georgia.

I'm trying one more to find the box of slides and books too. I am interested in finding the 150 Kodak slides I took of my time in Japan, the Philippines, Hong Kong, and South Vietnam.

The slides are very distinct. There are slides of an apartment fire taken in Japan and also winter shots in Atsugi, Japan, too. There are pictures of the Emperor's Palace of ducks swimming in the moat and of the Samurai mounted on a horse in front of the palace which is identical to the photo my uncle took of the same statue in 1945 except that my photos show skyscrapers and high-rise apartments, and my uncle's shows total destruction. There are also many photos of Hong Kong's Tiger Balgardens

I am interested in the slides and will pay a reward for their recovery starting at $2.00 per slide and photograph. The more of the original photos recovered, the higher the reward.

Ronald L. Burcham
Sgt. USMC DaNang SVM 1965

ronb28135@yahoo.com or 810-824-3232 or 810-488-1892

reply

Larry Blair, e-mail, 12.09.2016 00:54

I was a structures engineer on the Learfan 2100. Moved to Reno /Stead at the beginning of the program from Anaheim, CA. The first flight vehicle was N626BL which is in the History of Flight Museum in Seattle, Washington. There were lots of complications and delays that kept us from flying by the 31st of December. The MLG landing gear System was not complete and flew on the 32nd with the gear welded down. I still have all my pictures of the first flight signed by the test pilots Hank Beard and Dennis Newton, also an artist rendition signed by Moya Lear that all employees received.The main reason the program didn't get off the ground was that we were not able to get the Gearbox manufactured by Western Gear certified for an airplane. This type of gearbox had only been used on helicopters at this time.

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Karen Schwarz, e-mail, 13.08.2022 Larry Blair

Did you know my Dad Tom Schwarz and his co-corkers (Structural test engineers): Tom Schwarz, Mike Murphy, and Roy Benson?
We were even neighbors with Hank Beard, the test pilot.
I stood next to Moya Lear during the test flight.
I also still have Lear Fan shirts, and a coffee mug that reads that it flew 12-32-80.
~Karen Schwarz

reply

Sgt. Ronald Burcham, e-mail, 01.06.2022 Larry Blair

I'm trying to contact Trudy the wife of Bubba, Vance, Ramsey. He was a Lear painter about 1981,82 who relocated to Sparks from Savannah, Georgia. The Ramsey's tried to help me gain employment at Lear to no avail. I left a box of books and a tin of Kodachrome slides with them when I gave up seeking employment at Lear and returned to Georgia.

I'm trying one more to find the box of slides and books too. I am interested in finding the 150 Kodak slides I took of my time in Japan, the Philippines, Hong Kong, and South Vietnam.

The slides are very distinct. There are slides of an apartment fire taken in Japan and also winter shots in Atsugi, Japan, too. There are pictures of the Emperor's Palace of ducks swimming in the moat and of the Samurai mounted on a horse in front of the palace which is identical to the photo my uncle took of the same statue in 1945 except that my photos show skyscrapers and high-rise apartments, and my uncle's shows total destruction. There are also many photos of Hong Kong's Tiger Balgardens

I am interested in the slides and will pay a reward for their recovery starting at $2.00 per slide and photograph. The more of the original photos recovered, the higher the rewards.

Ronald L. Burcham
Sgt. USMC DaNang SVM 1965

ronb28135@yahoo.com or 810-824-3232 or 810-488-1892

reply

Mahsa, e-mail, 06.11.2020 Larry Blair

Hello! I have a few questions of 2100 please email me if u can
thanks

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Sgt. Ronald Burcham, e-mail, 01.06.2022 Sgt. Ronald Burcham

I'm trying to contact Trudy the wife of Bubba, Vance, Ramsey. He was a Lear painter about 1981,82 who relocated to Sparks from Savannah, Georgia. The Ramsey's tried to help me gain employment at Lear to no avail. I left a box of books and a tin of Kodachrome slides with them when I gave up seeking employment at Lear and returned to Georgia.

I'm trying one more to find the box of slides and books too. I am interested in finding the 150 Kodak slides I took of my time in Japan, the Philippines, Hong Kong, and South Vietnam.

The slides are very distinct. There are slides of an apartment fire taken in Japan and also winter shots in Atsugi, Japan, too. There are pictures of the Emperor's Palace of ducks swimming in the moat and of the Samurai mounted on a horse in front of the palace which is identical to the photo my uncle took of the same statue in 1945 except that my photos show skyscrapers and high-rise apartments, and my uncle's shows total destruction. There are also many photos of Hong Kong's Tiger Balgardens

I am interested in the slides and will pay a reward for their recovery starting at $2.00 per slide and photograph. The more of the original photos recovered, the higher the rewards.

Ronald L. Burcham
Sgt. USMC DaNang SVM 1965

ronb28135@yahoo.com or 810-824-3232 or 810-488-1892

reply

Mark W, e-mail, 04.12.2015 18:12

So many enthusiasts! As I mentioned before, I have 3 unique photographs of all 3 flying prototypes on the ramp together, the only day that that situation ever occurred. Contact me at watsonx4@sbcglobal.net and I can send you the pics.

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Sgt. Ronald Burcham, e-mail, 01.06.2022 Mark W

I'm trying to contact Trudy the wife of Bubba, Vance, Ramsey. He was a Lear painter about 1981,82 who relocated to Sparks from Savannah, Georgia. The Ramsey's tried to help me gain employment at Lear to no avail. I left a box of books and a tin of Kodachrome slides with them when I gave up seeking employment at Lear and returned to Georgia.

I'm trying one more to find the box of slides and books too. I am interested in finding the 150 Kodak slides I took of my time in Japan, the Philippines, Hong Kong, and South Vietnam.

The slides are very distinct. There are slides of an apartment fire taken in Japan and also winter shots in Atsugi, Japan, too. There are pictures of the Emperor's Palace of ducks swimming in the moat and of the Samurai mounted on a horse in front of the palace which is identical to the photo my uncle took of the same statue in 1945 except that my photos show skyscrapers and high-rise apartments, and my uncle's shows total destruction. There are also many photos of Hong Kong's Tiger Balgardens

I am interested in the slides and will pay a reward for their recovery starting at $2.00 per slide and photograph. The more of the original photos recovered, the higher the rewards.

Ronald L. Burcham
Sgt. USMC DaNang SVM 1965

ronb28135@yahoo.com or 810-824-3232 or 810-488-1892

reply

Tom Rose, e-mail, 25.09.2015 08:23

Rose; Dale Leier There is a set of prints on micro fish?? spelling. The are owned by ex learfan employees ..Contact me by email trose@avproinc.com ...No issues just would want to know what and why and would have to contact others that own them.

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Dale Leier, e-mail, 04.06.2022 Tom Rose

Sent you an email directly as well.

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Sgt. Ronald Burcham, e-mail, 01.06.2022 Tom Rose

I'm trying to contact Trudy the wife of Bubba, Vance, Ramsey. He was a Lear painter about 1981,82 who relocated to Sparks from Savannah, Georgia. The Ramsey's tried to help me gain employment at Lear to no avail. I left a box of books and a tin of Kodachrome slides with them when I gave up seeking employment at Lear and returned to Georgia.

I'm trying one more to find the box of slides and books too. I am interested in finding the 150 Kodak slides I took of my time in Japan, the Philippines, Hong Kong, and South Vietnam.

The slides are very distinct. There are slides of an apartment fire taken in Japan and also winter shots in Atsugi, Japan, too. There are pictures of the Emperor's Palace of ducks swimming in the moat and of the Samurai mounted on a horse in front of the palace which is identical to the photo my uncle took of the same statue in 1945 except that my photos show skyscrapers and high-rise apartments, and my uncle's shows total destruction. There are also many photos of Hong Kong's Tiger Balgardens

I am interested in the slides and will pay a reward for their recovery starting at $2.00 per slide and photograph. The more of the original photos recovered, the higher the rewards.

Ronald L. Burcham
Sgt. USMC DaNang SVM 1965

ronb28135@yahoo.com or 810-824-3232 or 810-488-1892

reply

Dale Leier, e-mail, 05.06.2015 20:06

Have been trying to track down the blueprints. According to the curator from the Museum of Flight in Seattle, the last he heard they were still stored in Reno. However, the manager there said they had since been removed and no idea where they may have gone. If anybody has any idea where on the trail they may be, please help me to preserve this essential body of aviation history.

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Sgt. Ronald Burcham, e-mail, 01.06.2022 Dale Leier

I'm trying to contact Trudy the wife of Bubba, Vance, Ramsey. He was a Lear painter about 1981,82 who relocated to Sparks from Savannah, Georgia. The Ramsey's tried to help me gain employment at Lear to no avail. I left a box of books and a tin of Kodachrome slides with them when I gave up seeking employment at Lear and returned to Georgia.

I'm trying one more to find the box of slides and books too. I am interested in finding the 150 Kodak slides I took of my time in Japan, the Philippines, Hong Kong, and South Vietnam.

The slides are very distinct. There are slides of an apartment fire taken in Japan and also winter shots in Atsugi, Japan, too. There are pictures of the Emperor's Palace of ducks swimming in the moat and of the Samurai mounted on a horse in front of the palace which is identical to the photo my uncle took of the same statue in 1945 except that my photos show skyscrapers and high-rise apartments, and my uncle's shows total destruction. There are also many photos of Hong Kong's Tiger Balgardens

I am interested in the slides and will pay a reward for their recovery starting at $2.00 per slide and photograph. The more of the original photos recovered, the higher the rewards.

Ronald L. Burcham
Sgt. USMC DaNang SVM 1965

ronb28135@yahoo.com or 810-824-3232 or 810-488-1892

reply

Mark W., e-mail, 17.05.2015 00:27

The Lear Fan program ended in May of 1985. I was there on the last day when Moya gave her farewell address, standing on the stairs in one of the hangers. The vending contractor was pulling his machines out, the sheriff was standing by to padlock the buildings. Lots of tears.

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Anton, e-mail, 04.05.2015 00:49

...Uhhh...correction: That would have been '83 or '84 @the Meadowlands Raceway,NJ area.
My 'bestie' corrected me, as we had talked about it during H.S. after that summer and it was before we went to college AND, significantly before th eprogram was axed!['86- '87]

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Sgt. Ronald Burcham, e-mail, 01.06.2022 Anton

I'm trying to contact Trudy the wife of Bubba, Vance, Ramsey. He was a Lear painter about 1981,82 who relocated to Sparks from Savannah, Georgia. The Ramsey's tried to help me gain employment at Lear to no avail. I left a box of books and a tin of Kodachrome slides with them when I gave up seeking employment at Lear and returned to Georgia.

I'm trying one more to find the box of slides and books too. I am interested in finding the 150 Kodak slides I took of my time in Japan, the Philippines, Hong Kong, and South Vietnam.

The slides are very distinct. There are slides of an apartment fire taken in Japan and also winter shots in Atsugi, Japan, too. There are pictures of the Emperor's Palace of ducks swimming in the moat and of the Samurai mounted on a horse in front of the palace which is identical to the photo my uncle took of the same statue in 1945 except that my photos show skyscrapers and high-rise apartments, and my uncle's shows total destruction. There are also many photos of Hong Kong's Tiger Balgardens

I am interested in the slides and will pay a reward for their recovery starting at $2.00 per slide and photograph. The more of the original photos recovered, the higher the rewards.

Ronald L. Burcham
Sgt. USMC DaNang SVM 1965

ronb28135@yahoo.com or 810-824-3232 or 810-488-1892

reply

Anton, e-mail, 04.05.2015 00:36

There is not enough publications and collective documentation available upon this exquisite Bill Lear project plane!

So underrated and unsung its a crime! I was in the Meadowlands, NJ sometime around the summer of 1986 or '87 at th elarge, open air flea market they hold there.
I could swear I saw it fly overhead at low level, on what looked like a landing approach header...unmistakeable profile! I was a big enthusiast of it then and really hoped it would become the norm of light aircraft.
I wouldn't know how to confirm if that was what I actually saw that day...I wish I could hear from a pilot on that matter.

I really would like a set of digital file plans to build up an R /C model; the 1 /7th plans that are out there is not the size I'd like.

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Sgt. Ronald Burcham, e-mail, 01.06.2022 Anton

I'm trying to contact Trudy the wife of Bubba, Vance, Ramsey. He was a Lear painter about 1981,82 who relocated to Sparks from Savannah, Georgia. The Ramsey's tried to help me gain employment at Lear to no avail. I left a box of books and a tin of Kodachrome slides with them when I gave up seeking employment at Lear and returned to Georgia.

I'm trying one more to find the box of slides and books too. I am interested in finding the 150 Kodak slides I took of my time in Japan, the Philippines, Hong Kong, and South Vietnam.

The slides are very distinct. There are slides of an apartment fire taken in Japan and also winter shots in Atsugi, Japan, too. There are pictures of the Emperor's Palace of ducks swimming in the moat and of the Samurai mounted on a horse in front of the palace which is identical to the photo my uncle took of the same statue in 1945 except that my photos show skyscrapers and high-rise apartments, and my uncle's shows total destruction. There are also many photos of Hong Kong's Tiger Balgardens

I am interested in the slides and will pay a reward for their recovery starting at $2.00 per slide and photograph. The more of the original photos recovered, the higher the rewards.

Ronald L. Burcham
Sgt. USMC DaNang SVM 1965

ronb28135@yahoo.com or 810-824-3232 or 810-488-1892

reply

Chuck, e-mail, 10.03.2015 01:38

Ron,

I worked on Proto 1 and later transferred to the training group until the Fan was sadly closed.

Your envelope is correct, the rest of the modern world as we know it, is wrong on this one...

You see England had financed the construction of the Lear Fan with 2 provisos, 1. the prototype must fly by the end of year. 2. The plane was to be built in N. Ireland to provide work for those over there who are unemployed and other wise disgruntled with the English Government.

Back to item one... As luck would have it we used up all of our contractual time getting the plane ready to fly. So in the waining hours of daylight with all the taxi tests and requisite checks completed. The plan was to take the plane on one more high speed run, turn the aircraft around and do a "spruce-goose" stile short hop up and down. Thus meeting all the contractual agreements, or spirit of same, for our backers the English Government.

However... On that last run, some thing didn't feel right to our test pilots, and when they went to slow down for the turn around the brakes locked-up. Then the severely overheated left brake failed catastrophically (see also... exploded).

With daylight dwindling, spares were brought out and the damaged brake and wheel were once again serviceable.

As dusk settled over Stead...it was check list time... all was good, ready for throttle up... then the unthinkable happened... during the final check a glove, the pilots flight suit sleeve snagged the engine fire extinguisher handle setting off the bottle in the engine compartment.

As the sun sank behind Peavine Mountain so did our morale...

Rue Britannia... Her majesty's representative was duly impressed with our efforts and phoned in his report he recommended the contract be extended to allow us to fly the next day. On the other side of the Atlantic his boss knowing a good opportunity when he sees it, told the rep. no problem go ahead and fly and he would cover us with paper.

The next day upon arriving at work we were told that December now has 32 days this year...by decree of the Queen! ...and sure enough with in a week a courier from England arrived presenting Lear Fan with a Royal Decree (on parchment no less) fully clichéd and ribboned, stamped and counter signed as appropriate and bearing the Signature Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth of England.

So December 32nd is the correct date for that year...

The employees of Lear each got one envelope, inside was a coin struck for the occasion with a likeness of Bill Lear and the Lear Fan on it.
Regards,

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Karen Schwarz, e-mail, 13.08.2022 Chuck

I remember that!!!
Did you know my Dad Tom Schwarz and his co-corkers (Structural test engineers): Tom Schwarz, Mike Murphy, and Roy Benson?
We were even neighbors with Hank Beard, the test pilot.
I stood next to Moya Lear during the test flight.
I also still have Lear Fan shirts, and a coffee mug that reads that it flew 12-32-80.
~Karen Schwarz

reply

Sgt. Ronald Burcham, e-mail, 01.06.2022 Chuck

I'm trying to contact Trudy the wife of Bubba, Vance, Ramsey. He was a Lear painter about 1981,82 who relocated to Sparks from Savannah, Georgia. The Ramsey's tried to help me gain employment at Lear to no avail. I left a box of books and a tin of Kodachrome slides with them when I gave up seeking employment at Lear and returned to Georgia.

I'm trying one more to find the box of slides and books too. I am interested in finding the 150 Kodak slides I took of my time in Japan, the Philippines, Hong Kong, and South Vietnam.

The slides are very distinct. There are slides of an apartment fire taken in Japan and also winter shots in Atsugi, Japan, too. There are pictures of the Emperor's Palace of ducks swimming in the moat and of the Samurai mounted on a horse in front of the palace which is identical to the photo my uncle took of the same statue in 1945 except that my photos show skyscrapers and high-rise apartments, and my uncle's shows total destruction. There are also many photos of Hong Kong's Tiger Balgardens

I am interested in the slides and will pay a reward for their recovery starting at $2.00 per slide and photograph. The more of the original photos recovered, the higher the rewards.

Ronald L. Burcham
Sgt. USMC DaNang SVM 1965

ronb28135@yahoo.com or 810-824-3232 or 810-488-1892

reply

Heather Larkin Wilson, e-mail, 08.09.2020 Chuck

Chuck- did you happen to work with my father Larry Larkin? We were Americans at the Newtonabbey - Belfast plant

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Dale Leier, e-mail, 08.02.2015 21:15

I have been a fan of Bill Lear all my life and even have a signed (rejection) letter for a rotary engine design I submitted during the steam car era. After the LearFan went titters I connected with Moya and was offered the prototypes, blueprints and parts package for $3M. Of course this was out of reach for a young air traffic controller.

As the basic airframe design remains contemporary all this time, other carbon fibre /pusher aircraft sales have validated the concept. Also very light jets make sales gains while the Learjet 85 composite project is on indefinite hold. With single engine turbines now the norm (e.g. Pilatus PC12, Cessna Caravan, Socata TBM and Piper Meridian) I think it is time to revisit the Learfan.

I have posted the idea on JumpStartFund.com as the RealAvia RealFan2100 with obvious reference to the genius that was William Powel Lear. The difference I propose is to drop the second engine altogether and stick to a proven single engine design.

I'm obviously not alone in my passion for the man and his design. Anyone else interested in helping to revive at least the basic design in tribute?

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Sgt. Ronald Burcham, e-mail, 01.06.2022 Dale Leier

I'm trying to contact Trudy the wife of Bubba, Vance, Ramsey. He was a Lear painter about 1981,82 who relocated to Sparks from Savannah, Georgia. The Ramsey's tried to help me gain employment at Lear to no avail. I left a box of books and a tin of Kodachrome slides with them when I gave up seeking employment at Lear and returned to Georgia.

I'm trying one more to find the box of slides and books too. I am interested in finding the 150 Kodak slides I took of my time in Japan, the Philippines, Hong Kong, and South Vietnam.

The slides are very distinct. There are slides of an apartment fire taken in Japan and also winter shots in Atsugi, Japan, too. There are pictures of the Emperor's Palace of ducks swimming in the moat and of the Samurai mounted on a horse in front of the palace which is identical to the photo my uncle took of the same statue in 1945 except that my photos show skyscrapers and high-rise apartments, and my uncle's shows total destruction. There are also many photos of Hong Kong's Tiger Balgardens

I am interested in the slides and will pay a reward for their recovery starting at $2.00 per slide and photograph. The more of the original photos recovered, the higher the rewards.

Ronald L. Burcham
Sgt. USMC DaNang SVM 1965

ronb28135@yahoo.com or 810-824-3232 or 810-488-1892

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asdf, e-mail, 20.04.2022 Dale Leier

Hi. I am going to make an aeroplane that takes some inspiration from the learfan. it will be a vtol plane. Are you interested in joining?
let me add your contact information to my persons list. let me know what part of the development you would like to contribute to.

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Tom Rose, e-mail, 14.07.2014 23:26

I fully concur with the opinion that the failure of the program had very little to do with either the FAA or the basic design.

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Sgt. Ronald Burcham, e-mail, 01.06.2022 Tom Rose

I'm trying to contact Trudy the wife of Bubba, Vance, Ramsey. He was a Lear painter about 1981,82 who relocated to Sparks from Savannah, Georgia. The Ramsey's tried to help me gain employment at Lear to no avail. I left a box of books and a tin of Kodachrome slides with them when I gave up seeking employment at Lear and returned to Georgia.

I'm trying one more to find the box of slides and books too. I am interested in finding the 150 Kodak slides I took of my time in Japan, the Philippines, Hong Kong, and South Vietnam.

The slides are very distinct. There are slides of an apartment fire taken in Japan and also winter shots in Atsugi, Japan, too. There are pictures of the Emperor's Palace of ducks swimming in the moat and of the Samurai mounted on a horse in front of the palace which is identical to the photo my uncle took of the same statue in 1945 except that my photos show skyscrapers and high-rise apartments, and my uncle's shows total destruction. There are also many photos of Hong Kong's Tiger Balgardens

I am interested in the slides and will pay a reward for their recovery starting at $2.00 per slide and photograph. The more of the original photos recovered, the higher the rewards.

Ronald L. Burcham
Sgt. USMC DaNang SVM 1965

ronb28135@yahoo.com or 810-824-3232 or 810-488-1892

reply

Joe Olson, e-mail, 20.06.2014 00:43

I was there for the Lear charger & steam bus and don't forget the Lear alegria later to become the G series I think to the end of Bill Lear; He was always good to our family and so was Moya and their kids. I grew up with the Lear family and enjoyed every day. I was very lucky.

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Ron Campbell, e-mail, 24.02.2014 05:54

I recently picked up a envelope with the dec 32nd post mark. It was attached to a signed lithograph of the Learfan. Just trying to find out how many envelopes were postmarked. And maybe figure out who signed the art. It has two names and the dates 12-79--5-85. please feel free to tell me what you might know.

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Ronald Lee Burcham, e-mail, 01.06.2022 Ron Campbell

I'm trying to contact Trudy the wife of Bubba, Vance, Ramsey. He was a Lear painter about 1981,82 who relocated to Sparks from Savannah, Georgia. The Ramsey's tried to help me gain employment at Lear to no avail. I left a box of books and a tin of Kodachrome slides with them when I gave up seeking employment at Lear and returned to Georgia.

I'm trying one more to find the box of slides and books too. I am interested in finding the 150 Kodak slides I took of my time in Japan, the Philippines, Hong Kong, and South Vietnam.

The slides are very distinct. There are slides of an apartment fire taken in Japan and also winter shots in Atsugi, Japan, too. There are pictures of the Emperor's Palace of ducks swimming in the moat and of the Samurai mounted on a horse in front of the palace which is identical to the photo my uncle took of the same statue in 1945 except that my photos show skyscrapers and high-rise apartments, and my uncle's shows total destruction. There are also many photos of Hong Kong's Tiger Balgardens

I am interested in the slides and will pay a reward for their recovery starting at $2.00 per slide and photograph. The more of the original photos recovered, the higher the rewards.

Ronald L. Burcham
Sgt. USMC DaNang SVM 1965

ronb28135@yahoo.com or 810-824-3232 or 810-488-1892

reply

David, e-mail, 10.11.2013 19:02

I worked at Lear Reno. I started on Proto 1 and was there for four years. I still have much original information.

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Karen Schwarz, e-mail, 13.08.2022 David

Did you know my Dad Tom Schwarz and his co-corkers (Structural test engineers): Tom Schwarz, Mike Murphy, and Roy Benson?
We were even neighbors with Hank Beard, the test pilot.
I stood next to Moya Lear during the test flight.
I also still have Lear Fan shirts, and a coffee mug that reads that it flew 12-32-80.
~Karen Schwarz

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Sgt. Ronald Burcham, e-mail, 01.06.2022 David

I'm trying to contact Trudy the wife of Bubba, Vance, Ramsey. He was a Lear painter about 1981,82 who relocated to Sparks from Savannah, Georgia. The Ramsey's tried to help me gain employment at Lear to no avail. I left a box of books and a tin of Kodachrome slides with them when I gave up seeking employment at Lear and returned to Georgia.

I'm trying one more to find the box of slides and books too. I am interested in finding the 150 Kodak slides I took of my time in Japan, the Philippines, Hong Kong, and South Vietnam.

The slides are very distinct. There are slides of an apartment fire taken in Japan and also winter shots in Atsugi, Japan, too. There are pictures of the Emperor's Palace of ducks swimming in the moat and of the Samurai mounted on a horse in front of the palace which is identical to the photo my uncle took of the same statue in 1945 except that my photos show skyscrapers and high-rise apartments, and my uncle's shows total destruction. There are also many photos of Hong Kong's Tiger Balm gardens

I am interested in the slides and will pay a reward for their recovery starting at $2.00 per slide and photograph. The more of the original photos recovered, the higher the rewards.

Ronald L. Burcham
Sgt. USMC DaNang SVM 1965

ronb28135@yahoo.com or 810-824-3232 or 810-488-1892

reply

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