Learjet 24D

This Learjet is graciously adopted by the Austin E. Knowlton Foundation.
One of the first private jets in production, the sleek Learjet 24D became a favorite with its low-speed handling characteristics, increased range, size, and speed. The idea of eccentric inventor William P. Lear Sr, the aircraft met the need of a private luxurious jet aircraft that could fly in and out of small airports. Originally inspired by a single-seat Swiss strike fighter aircraft prototype, the FFA P-16, the 1965 Learjet 23 proved demanding to fly, so Lear quickly improved the design and released the ever-popular Learjet 24 in 1966.

Did you know?

In the span of just four days, from May 23-26, 1966, the Learjet 24 shattered 18 aviation world records when it became the first business jet to circumnavigate the globe, traveling 22,993 miles in 50 hours and 20 minutes of flying time.

Lear also invented the 8-track audio tape and held 150 aviation-related patents.

Because the Lear 24 can reach altitudes of 45,000 ft quicker than many and can cruise at 520 mph for 3 hours, NASA chose the Lear 24 to perform high-altitude experiments at a relatively low cost.

Interested in a pilot’s personal account from 1967? 

About our Aircraft

Our 1973 Learjet 24D aircraft, N281FP, serial #281, faithfully logged a total of 7,330 airframe hours and 8,707 landings before being generously donated to the Museum by Valhi, Inc. of Dallas, Texas. Recently, museum volunteers polished the eight-seat, twin-engine aircraft and reminisced about its heyday as a private jet. The Learjet 24D with her graceful nose and signature curved windshield now welcomes visitors on the south side of the Museum.
Learjet 24
Learjet 24 - Polished
Learjet 24 after Museum volunteers freshly polished exterior in May 2017
Learjet 24 in late 1960s
"The Lear 24 was the first Lear Jet that really proved to be practical for business travel." Image Credit: Airfactsjournal.com