July 9, 2009
Every day, extraordinary individuals from around the globe are working and collaborating on the Learjet 85 aircraft.
This special profile is the first in a series of articles on the people behind the program.
Meeting challenges are something that Shawn Kordonowy knows very well. In both his professional and personal life, he has risen to meet them all. Born and raised on a small ranch one mile outside of Dickinson, North Dakota, Shawn had his eyes set on the sky and a career in aerospace, even as early as the age of 12 when he was working in his father’s construction company. By 1986, Shawn moved to Wichita to attend college at Wichita State University where he graduated with a B.S.A.E. (Bachelor of Science - Aeronautical Engineering) cum laude in 1990. It was there that he also earned his MBA in 2003 and was voted MBA student of the year.
Shawn first came onboard Learjet in 1989 as a Co-op student in Wichita. Upon graduating from WSU the following year, his mettle would be tested as a full time employee at the company. There, Shawn was involved with Wind Tunnel Testing on various programs such as the Learjet 60 and the Learjet 45. Between Wind Tunnel testing, Shawn also worked on Stability and Control as well as Aircraft Performance. After a stint at Cessna Aircraft, Shawn returned to Learjet to work in the Flight Sciences Group. He eventually became technical Integrator on Learjet Special Mission Aircraft.
But the future was calling. And in May 2007, Shawn joined the Learjet 85 team as Manager, Technical Engineering, a key role overseeing Advanced Aero, Flight Sciences, Simulation, Wind Tunnel, Mass Properties and Loads & Dynamics. After a year in the position, Shawn’s resolve would be tested again, but this time on a personal level.
In February 2008, doctors discovered a brain tumor following a hearing exam. Shawn had an Acoustic Neuroma, a benign tumor was growing on the auditory nerve. During surgery to remove the tumor, Shawn suffered a stroke in the cerebellum, making him lose all coordination and balance functions on the right side of his body. He would have to relearn to walk, talk, and do most of the things we take for granted. But once again, with the support of his family and colleagues, Shawn rose to the occasion.
Today, as Manager, Technical Engineering in the Learjet 85 program, Shawn is back at doing what he loves best. “Every day brings something new, said Shawn. “Being part of an all-new development program doesn’t happen much anymore. It’s exciting to be a part of the first composite Part 25 Aircraft and to break new ground. I enjoy the challenge that we are all enduring.”
Shawn is one of the many people working very hard on the Learjet 85 program to make sure we meet our commitments and deliver on our promises, we are very proud of all our employees and their accomplishments.
The aircraft is currently under development and the design and the design tolerances remain to be finalized and certified. The aircraft is subject to change during the course of the design, manufacture and certification process. The statements about performance, design, design tolerances and the images shown in this document are solely based on projections and forecasts and are subject to change without notice. All competitive data is based upon public information derived from third party sources. This document and the information contained herein does not constitute an offer, commitment, representation or warranty of any kind with respect to the aircraft. The actual configuration and performance of the aircraft shall be subject of a purchase agreement between the buyer and Learjet.