On Jan. 1 at The Museum of Flight in Seattle, test pilot Dennis Newton will lecture about the development of entrepreneur Bill Lear’s last project — the radical, Lear Fan 2100 Futura.
Newton is the former Chief Test Pilot of Lear Fan Corp., and was at the controls of the Lear Fan prototype during its January 1981 maiden flight.
In the 1960s Bill Lear developed the iconic Lear Jet. In the late 1970s he took the concept of high-speed personal travel in another direction with the Lear Fan. The sleek Lear Fan was designed as a medium-size business aircraft that could cruise at jet speeds with far lower operating costs than jets because of its lightweight composite structure and turboprop propulsion. When Lear died before his marvel of aviation technology became a reality, his widow, Moya, and Lear’s employees honored his final wish to finish and fly the airplane.
The lecture will be at 2 p.m., and is free with admission to the museum. Following the presentation, Newton will conduct a personal tour of the prototype Lear Fan that is on display in the Museum.
The first 100 adults attending the Dennis Newton lecture will receive a free Lear Fan scarf commissioned by Moya Lear and designed by Frankie Welch. Now collector’s items, the scarves were produced as keepsakes of the airplane project in the early 1980s.
For more information: MuseumOfFlight.org