Gates C-21 Learjet


The C-21 Learjet is the military version of the a twin-engine Gates (a subsidiary of Bombardier in Canada) 35A business jet. It provides cargo and passenger airlift and can transport litters during medical evacuations. Eighty-four C-21As were acquired by the USAF in 1984 to be used as an Operational Support Aircraft.

Delivery of the C-21A fleet began in April 1984 and was completed in October 1985. On 1 April 1997, all continental U.S.-based C-21s were realigned under the Air Mobility Command, with the 375th Airlift Wing at Scott Air Force Base, Ill. as the home base. C-21s stationed outside the continental United States are assigned to the theater commanders.


Official DesignationC-21A Learjet
Primary RoleStaff transport
National OriginUSA
Original ContractorGates
OperatorUnited States Air Force
Wingspan39 feet, 6 inches (11.97m)
Length48 feet, 7 inches (14.71m)
Height at Tail12 feet, 3 inches (3.71m)
EnginesTwo Garrett TFE731-2-2B turbofans
Thrust3,500 pounds (15.57kN) per engine
Cruise Speed481 mph (774km/h; Mach 0.65)
Max Speed530 mph (853km/h; Mach 0.81)
Range2,300 nm (4,262km)
Service Ceiling45,000 feet (13,716m)
Operating Weight9,838 pounds (4,462kg)
Max Payload3,153 pounds (1,430kg) or 8 passengers
Max Takeoff Weight18,300 pounds (8,235kg)
Basic CrewTwo
Date Deployed1984
Total in ServiceUnknown