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Mon, Sep 25, 2006

Lear 60 Sets World Speed Record In South Africa

Flies Cape Town-Johannesburg RT In Under Three Hours

It ain't braggin' if you can do it... and that lesson is not lost on Bombardier. Sunday, a nearly-new South African Learjet 60 midsize jet set a world speed record for its class, flying from Cape Town to Johannesburg, round trip, in two hours, 59 minutes. The flight was fully sanctioned by the Federation Aeronautique Internationale (FAI).

"The aircraft performed superbly as expected," said Terry Redman, chief pilot and director for The Aviation Co., the aircraft's operator. "We took off from Cape Town at 10:00, local time, and quickly climbed to 37,000 feet) to avoid turbulence and traffic. 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," Redman added. "The aircraft handled beautifully throughout the flight and the roundtrip time easily establishes the benchmark speed standard for this trip."

In customer service since June 2006, the Learjet 60 aircraft -- owned by Skyros Properties of Cape Town -- cruised at Mach 0.81 throughout the flight, until it clocked-in with the Cape Town International Airport tower at 13:35 local, where its 2,000-foot (610 m) flyover confirmed its impressive time and speed.

The Learjet 60 then performed several low passes as part of the flying display at the Africa Aerospace and Defence show... landing just in time to be in the spotlight -- along with a Bombardier Global 5000 business jet -- at an executive reception.

National Aeronautical Association (NAA) official Frank Eckhart was on board the plane during the flight, and validated the speed record with the help of two GPS devices installed specifically for the record attempt. The NAA will submit the record to the FAI in Paris, France, for international ratification.

Upon touchdown, owner Dr. Gaston Savoi, chairman of Skyros Management, Skyros Health, and Intaka Investments, greeted his aircraft and crew.

"We are delighted with our Learjet 60," said Dr. Savoi. "It has proven itself as an essential tool to travel between our various companies' branches and affiliates in South Africa, Namibia, Mozambique, Angola and Tanzania."

FMI: www.bombardier.com

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