Flysimware Lear 35A initial thoughts

Earlier today I was confessing to @chipwich that I was on the fence about the Flysimware Lear 35A. I recently bought a basic port of the Lear 45 from FSX to P3D for $5 (it is the same lite Lear 45 that is included in FSX, but with some P3D v4 compatibility). As well, I have a Lear 25 from Lionheart that I love, but it does not work in P3D v4. I’ve actually bee eyeing the FSW Lear 35A for months now, often going to YouTube to check out videos, and each time I came away without hitting the “BUY” button because I was unimpressed with the textures. This despite fairly rave reviews from most owners of the module about the systems and overall quality of the module.

Well, the FSW Lear 35A has been on sale at PC Aviator (one of my favorite shoe stores) this week for 50% off - normally $41.95 with a sale price of $20.98. I had a $5 OFF coupon to apply, and a 10% discount for it being Tuesday (yay!), so for $13.88, I figured this was a risk I could take. I had also read (thanks again to some direction from @chipwich) that another user (Paul Grubich) had taken it on himself to upgrade the cockpit textures and change the colors of the default cockpit - and that was what really convinced me to give it a whirl.

Now, I’ve only had the thing for a couple hours, but I am so glad I bought it, and am very impressed with the package so far. It will install to FSX, FSX-SE, P3D v1 through v4, and it does give you the option to install with the Flight1 GTN 750 if you own that (nice feature - although I don’t own it).

There are quite a few really nice liveries with it - I stuck with N145AJ for these screens just to provide a constant. The first few screens show the DEFAULT interior textures, which are easy to discern from Paul’s since they are light grey wheras his are more of a charcoal color.

The 3D model is very good. There might be some angles showing on the nacelles and window frames, but overall…it is really pretty (as a Lear should be). Very nice reflection features too…

I have to admit, I was fairly impressed with the default textures already. Yes, they aren’t probably at the top of the field compared to the stellar work that TFDi and Carenado are doing, but they are very good - and again, for the entry point of $15.00, I’m pretty darn pleased with it.

So those are the default cockpit textures…now we take a look at the ones Paul made and they really bring the cockpit alive and seem sharper and with a nicer contrast between panel and gauges. Everything just seems to POP better… (Note - all images were cropped and shrunk down a bit to 1200 x 750…I still gotta pay the bills round this joint…err…guess I should lighten up my GIF-iness…)

If the screens don’t really show it, the difference is quite noticeable in game. All of that said, I haven’t tried the cockpit in VR yet, and I suspect it might be like some of the early model Carenado stuff (and maybe even current stuff?) in that I don’t know that all the gauges would be real 3D-ish. I’m just speculating though…so YMMV in VR…

FPS is just stellar in this aircraft - very, very smooth. Also, don’t forget to map the button on the yoke that you must press and hold to enable nosewheel steering. I almost took out a line guy at Jackson Hole before I figured out how to steer the thing on the ground (up to 45 knots or so is the max to keep the button mashed…then the rudder should be giving you plenty of control authority)…

I forgot to load the separate loadout editor utility…so I just went in and set fuel to 50% and there were no passengers - but this thing is a rocket…!

Again, very smooth gauge updates, and the overall feel is very, very nice. I accelerated toward 250 knots and was climbing at nearly 5,000 FPM (no idea if the power setting is too high though…)

Within two minutes I was at FL190 (Jackson Hole sits at near 6,500’ already though…) and pulled the power back and teardropped around land the opposite way…

I brought the power to idle, got the first bit of flaps out, dropped gear, and then went full flaps and was pleasantly surprised that the Lear 35 wasn’t as slippery as I thought it might be. I was able to maintain around 150 knots with quite a significant nose down pitch. I was trying to deploy speedbrakes but I’d just see a blip of the (hydraulic?) light on the panel and they never extended. I don’t know what I have set wrong for that (maybe it is an axis and not a switch for the LJ35?)…

Coming down final, I had to sorta go around a King Air that was in my way at about 3 miles out…oopsie…

Shot for around 120 knots over the numbers - no idea what the Vref should be…but that seemed to work well…

Hit the reversers and didn’t touch the brakes until the last third of the runway. It does seem to use a bit of runway for landing, but I didn’t get real aggressive with it, and the runway was “contaminated”…

So I’m a bit relieved - it seems like a really nice module and if I bought the GTN 750 I think it would be an awesome corporate airplane. It isn’t a contender for Mudspike Air Cargo by any means…but for professional reasons, it would be a good plane to practice with in that it is a similar class to the Citation, although with more dated avionics. No comments on the autpilot and flight director, but from what I’ve seen thus far, I have no reason to doubt they wouldn’t work great. There are also some nifty menus that allow for all kinds of options like GPU, pilots, etc…I’ll have to explore those more.

Link to PC Aviator page where it is on sale: HERE

Link to Paul’s cockpit mod (very simple, just copy the textures to your texture folders): HERE

Good luck…!

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I am a sucker for tip tanks. Nice plane.
…I want it for Xplane11

That was my other dream plane as a kid (the first was the Pitts Special). I flew a Lear 31 for about 20 hours but it wasn’t the same. Too easy. (Free doughnuts though as the plane was N31KK—can you guess the company?) The Learjet is supposed to be a nasty little vixen who lures pilots into mach tucks and Dutch rolls. The Lear 24 was basically a fighter that carried four passengers on internal hardpoints called “seats”.

If the Flysimware version was offered for X-Plane, I’d buy for sure.

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Wait what? You flew for Krispy Kreme? Story time please.

Did you leave because the jet was boring or the weight gain?

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I’ve run across those guys occasionally. They out of Winston/Salem?

HIJACK (sorry) Not much of a story. I flew for Piedmont Aviation, a full service sales and charter operation out of Winston-Salem (KINT). I was getting a little more senior in the company so my boss was trying to find a more secure fit for me. We managed Krispy Kreme’s Lear and also had it on our 135 certificate so we could use it for on-demand charter. I didn’t get trained on the plane other than some touch and go’s with said boss, Ed. Over the month I had my trial gig, whenever we flew the KK people, my job would be to drive into town to the original Krispy Kreme and take 4 boxes, 2 x glazed and 1 ea of assorted. The KK people never touched ‘em. The first time that happened I thought, what a PITA to get up at 5 am to buy a bunch of sugar pills that nobody wants anyway. But when we landed in some city in TN, every line guy on the ramp was there to open the door. No other plane at the FBO got treated quite as well as we did! As it happens (I know I’ve mentioned this many times before) we also held the certificate that serviced MedCenter Air (@BeachAV8R’s company) so in addition to my other flying I would occasionally fly down there when they needed a pilot. With Ed’s prodding, they offered me a job which I came within a whisker of taking. A few months later Ed helped me get on with “LeisureAir” flying DC-10s. HE was a class act! To turn this back around, Ed LOVED the LearJet, not the 31 so much but the 35 was the greatest machine on earth to him. He described how, when on approach in the bumps, fuel would slosh around in the tip tanks causing the jet to dutch roll significantly. It was never dangerous just bothersome. The only way to stop it was to side-slip ever so slightly all the way to touchdown. He also told me that it wasn’t unheard of to launch a light 24 on a cold day and be a 10000 feet by the end of the runway. I would still give my left testicle (maybe both since I don’t really need them anymore) to fly a 24.

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We were borne from the same “Father”…

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Funny - back in the day - 15 or more years ago, we used to fly transports from Bermuda to Boston or Baltimore nearly weekly. Prior to jumping in the airplane, a nurse would go get around 20 Big Macs to take out there and they’d distribute them to the line guys and hospital workers. It was a huge hit. We stopped doing it a few years later…my assumption is that there is now a McDonald’s in Bermuda…so no novelty…

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Oh Man! That ID! I wonder if I still have mine.

(BTW @BeachAV8R, I think I am “senior” to you by almost exactly 10 years. I started flight instructing at Piedmont in September of 1988.)

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Heh, it looks like both of you discovered the secret that great service goes through the stomach! :wink:

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Does that mean I have to do the walk-around on legs where it is cold or raining? I think that’s what that means.

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You must be married with kids. :grin:

It’s really a treat hearing stories from you guys whom fly these jets professionally. Not only the stories, but knowing that you take flight sims somewhat seriously gives them legitimacy. Well at least when my wife rolls her eyes with that “I see that you are gaming again.” expression.

The GLJ-25SE (25D) manual recommends 100% RPM takeoff and 90% climb up to cruise altitude, then adjust power for desired mach. Which I interpret to mean control airspeed with pitch. Above 10k, 300 kts climb is recommended up to FL250, then inlet mach .70 up to FL450, the .72 above. FL510 anyone? FWIW, I’m usually hauling a bunch of beer and two middle-aged fat men, so always departing at MTOW. Not cleared above FL410 until we are 1500 lbs lighter, so about an hour and 15 mins into the trip we can begin climbing again. The totalizer is a big help here.

Depending on flaps, you were right on the money. The 25D table says 122 kts at flaps 40 and 12,000 lbs.

For anyone interested in a fairly lengthy history of Lear designs, the Ray Marshall XP GLJ-25SE review at AvSim in really good, including lots of historical photos and performance charts.

https://www.avsim.com/home/reviews/aircraft/review-classic-glj-model-25-special-edition-r4046/

I’ll probably regret not jumping on the FSW Lear 35A, especially given the improved fuel economy. From the article above, “1,000 nm fuel burn for the Model 25D is 3,920 pounds, compared to 2,530 pounds for the Model 35/36, and 2,480 for the Model 31A. Ouch.”

What’s interesting is that these two aircraft were being built at the same time, the older 25D costing 1 million dollars less than the 35A. As the article goes on to say that although a million bucks buys you a lot of fuel and panel upgrades, it doesn’t solve the noise issue. The earlier Lear engines are the same as those on the T-38A, sans afterburners. Which begs the question, I wonder if Bill Lear toyed with the idea, perhaps only on the back of a cocktail napkin, of building a version with afterburners and a refueling probe.

The 25D has really grown on me though, once I got passed that feeling that it was trying to kill me everytime I flew it, mainly runaway pitch and overspeed. A few things that I learned along the way:

  • Don’t engage ALT mode unless you have preselected your target altitude and have set your VS bug on the VSI. If no altitude is selected, it wants to hold whatever pitch attitude you had when you engaged ALT mode, come hell or high water.
  • Use the speed bugs to avoid overspeed. At FL410 mach .82 is the max cruise for the 35D, but she feels like a wild horse who wants to run free. Mach .78 is normal cruise.
  • If you are flying near max range, know the fuel panel, especially how to transfer from the FUSE tank to the wing tanks (engines in sim). When the low fuel light comes on, you’ve down to about 50 gallons in one or more wing tanks.
  • 1 line width nose up trim and flaps 8 works well in the 25D at MTOW.
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You aren’t kidding. There are some freight haulers that use 25s (Ameristar I think?) and they come into Charlotte in the wee hours of the morning. Or, at least, they did - I don’t know if they are still making the runs they used to. Back as early as just a few years ago, banks used charter aircraft to move checks in the middle of the night to allow them to clear faster (back when you had to physically cancel a check). Those Lears would scream onto the ramp here in CLT, taxiing at what I would deem a ludicrous speed, grab their bags or drop them, and then book it out of there. Being cargo, their pilots would fly them like…well…T-38s…LOL. They were extremely loud on takeoff but they “became a dot” pretty darn quick.

I never actually sat in one. I’d be curious how my 6’ 2" frame would fit in there. Looks tight!

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I doubt it, the engine itself is just a tremendous amount of bang for the buck. Low by pass turbo jet engines really shine in this segment up until this day. I’ve never experienced one from the inside but I’ve been told that the airliners with rear mounted engines are noisier in the back as well.

But, to compare the engine weights less then 200kg and has a power to weight ratio of 7.4 according to wikipedia. Strap two of these babies on the back and you’ve got a lot of thrust going for you. Besides, the market for these kinds of engines didn’t really have anything else to offer back then.

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Right you are. Something like half the weight of the Honeywell/Garrett fanjets (turbofans?) that replaced them. This caused a W&B issue which led to 13" added in front of the wing leading edge. Side benefit: a little more leg room for customers and a little more for @BeachAV8R’s 6’2" frame :smile:

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I did not know, interesting how a relative small amount of mass can cause such a CG shift. I love these kind of facts!

I thought that I had that one, but just similar.

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Just wanted to drop by and say;
This is an awesome thread! :+1:

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It’s about to get a whole lot awesomer.

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