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Bombardier corporate jets in record-setting flights

WHETHER IT was by careful design by the manufacturer to draw attention to its various models of corporate jets, or by sheer coincidence by their respective owners is not known, but the fact remains that three Bombardier corporate jets were involved in separate successful world record-breaking city-to-city flights in recent weeks.

The latest was a Bombardier Learjet 75 aircraft which set a world speed record in its class, flying a round trip between New York and Los Angeles. The flight, piloted by two members of Bombardier’s flight operations demonstration team, Ed Hillis and Jeff Triphahn, was staged to mark the 50th anniversary of Clay Lacy’s 1965 record-setting transcontinental round-trip flight. To date, aircraft in the Learjet family have accumulated 111 world speed records.


Bombardier’s flight operations demonstration team, Ed Hillis (left) and Jeff Triphahn (right) with, Clay Lacy (centre)

The flight followed the original 4 946-mile route but in reverse, beating Lacy’s flying time by 17 minutes. Lacy’s original flight in a Learjet 23 aircraft made aviation history, marking the first time a business jet made a round-trip flight across the US between sunrise and sunset on the same day.

The Learjet 75 flew at a maximum cruising speed of Mach 0,81. The aircraft touched down at Dwight D. Eisenhower Airport, in Wichita, for refuelling on both legs of the flight and also at Van Nuys Airport in Los Angeles where Clay Lacy, flanked by the original Learjet 23 aircraft, was on hand to offer encouragement. The pilots returned New York with more than adequate fuel reserves and a new record under their belts.

The second Bombardier aircraft involved in these record-breaking flights was a Challenger 350 aircraft, owned by VistaJet, set a world speed record in its class, flying from Napa Valley to the Cayman Islands – a distance of 2 774 miles – in five hours and five minutes.

The Challenger 350 aircraft flew from Napa County Airport, in California, with three crew and two passengers on board. Maximum cruising speed was M 0,83 at a cruise level of 41 000 feet. The pilots touched down at Owen Robert International Airport, in Grand Cayman, with more than sufficient fuel reserves.

“The Challenger 350 aircraft handled beautifully throughout the flight,” said Captain Andy Wegman. “Thanks to its unmatched climb characteristics, we took it straight to 41 000 feet (in under 20 minutes, where we cruised comfortably at ground speeds up to 545 knots to set the record.”

Latest in the record-setting round-about was that of a NetJets owned and operated Bombardier Global 6000 aircraft which set a new world speed record flying from Aspen, in the US to London, UK. Its second subsequent record flight occurred when the aircraft travelled a round trip between London and Lugano, in Switzerland.

These new world records also showcased the business jet’s impressive speed, field performance, and extraordinary steep approach capability, as the Global 6000 is claimed to be the largest business jet capable of accessing the world’s most challenging airports without compromise................................. For the FULL ARTICLE please subscribe to our digital edition.

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