There’s a new airplane for MSFS simmers to enjoy this weekend, just released in the Marketplace for both PC and Xbox users: the LearAvia Lear Fan 2100, a new project from Lionheart Creations (developers of the Bucker Bu-131B and the Trinidad TB-21 GT).
After the Bu-131 was released earlier this year, Lionheart Creations quickly got to work on a new airplane for MSFS, which we previewed a couple of times during its development phase. The Lear Fan 2100 is quite a unique airplane, designed in the 1970s to compete in the turboprop business aircraft market. It featured an unusual configuration with a single rear-mounted “pusher” propeller, powered by two engines. The idea was to provide the added safety of a twin-engine design while mitigating the effects of an engine failure and the handling difficulties it causes in traditional twin-engine airplanes.
Sadly, this project never managed to move into production, with only 3 aircraft built. All of them have been preserved and are on display in three Museums across the US and also now virtually in Microsoft Flight Simulator… to some extent, at least…
You see, Lionheart Creations took some liberties to bring the Lear Fan to the modern age. They are actually calling this release for MSFS the Lear Fan 2200, a virtual “evolution” of the original design that features some significant changes.
For starters, this “modern” Lear Fan features a glass cockpit that surely looks nowhere near what the original prototypes looked like (don’t ask me what kind of instruments it had, but big Garmin screens sure didn’t exist back then). An analog instrument panel would be much more appropriate… but then again, this is a “new” 2200 model!
Another notable change is that the two engines that powered the single “pusher” propeller have been replaced by just one, which Lionheart says is more powerful. There are a few additional inconsistencies in terms of modeling, namely with the exterior door hinges and the cabin configuration, but these are relatively minor.
This airplane certainly has its quirks, which are all detailed in the comprehensive user manual provided by Lionheart. If you can live with them, it may be an interesting new machine to add to your hangar! 8 liveries are included, along with 7 different interior themes.
The Lear Fan 2100 (or 2200, depending on how you see it) is available now in the MSFS Marketplace, for both PC and Xbox, which is always nice to see. Price: $24.49.