Bombardier Learjet 60 Sets Speed Record

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Bombardier last week said its Learjet 60 midsize jet set a world speed record for its class, flying a roundtrip between from Cape Town, South Africa, to Johannesburg and back in two hours, 59 minutes. The flight was fully sanctioned by the Federation Aéronautique Internationale (FAI), the international body responsible for recognizing such records. “The aircraft performed superbly as expected,” said Terry Redman, chief pilot and director, The Aviation Co., the aircraft’s operator. “The first leg to Johannesburg took just one hour, 24 minutes. The aircraft’s performance was put to the test against the wind on the return leg to Cape Town, arriving only one hour and 35 minutes later.”

In service since June 2006, the Learjet 60 aircraft cruised at Mach 0.81 throughout the flight. The crew then performed several fly passes as part of the flying display at the Africa Aerospace and Defence show, landing to join a Bombardier Global 5000 business jet at a reception. A follow-on to the Learjet 60 -- the Learjet 60 XR -- is expected to receive FAA type certification "shortly," according to the company, with customer deliveries beginning in early 2007.