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An early look at the $20.8 million Learjet 85 (pictures)

CNET checks out a model of the upcoming Learjet 85, the fastest, largest, and longest ranged jet in the Learjet fleet.

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Roger_Cheng.jpg

Roger Cheng

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1 of 8 Bombardier LearJet

LearJet 85 takes flight

This is a mock-up of the Learjet 85 in flight. The actual Learjet 85 is scheduled to have its inaugural flight sometime later this year. The price tag for such luxury: $20.8 million. And it's not even considered a high-end private jet.
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2 of 8 Bombardier LearJet

From analog to digital

The Learjet 85 is made up of primarily composite materials, as opposed to the more traditional use of metals. This allows it to fly faster, burn less fuel, and run faster than other planes in its class. This plane has two pilots and seats as many as eight people. It's long-range cruising speed is 515 miles per hour, while its high-speed cruising speed is 541 mph.
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3 of 8 Roger Cheng/CNET

One large model plane

At an event hosted by Flexjet, which sells shares of individual planes, a model of the LearJet 85 (without the wings) was set up for prospective buyers and the media.
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4 of 8 Roger Cheng/CNET

A milestone for Learjet

Learjet celebrates the 50th anniversary of the first private jet. FlexJet took advantage of that milestone on Monday night to hold its event at the Intrepid Museum in Manhattan, which included test-drives in Aston Martins, a tasting of high-end scotch, and fireworks.
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5 of 8 Roger Cheng/CNET

Even private jets have moved to digital

The Learjet 85 features a move toward digital controls rather than physical ones. In the past, the steering column of a plane would control a system of cables and pulleys that would move the flaps and rudders. Now, electronic signals are sent via wires to steer the plane. That makes for less heavy equipment and a lighter load.
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6 of 8 Roger Cheng/CNET

Luxury living in the high skies

Talk about luxury. While the planes go for $20.8 million a pop, FlexJet sells a fractional ownership, so you can own a piece for as "little" as $1.18 million, which gets you 50 hours a year for five years. After that, Flexjet will buy back your ownership stake.
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7 of 8 Bombardier LearJet

Plenty of storage

The Learjet 85's seats now feature little hidden compartments to store things like laptops and tablets and other personal items.
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8 of 8 Roger Cheng/CNET

Finishing touches

The jet comes complete with a little bar and microwave. If you're paying this much, of course you're going to want the normal perks.

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