Bombardier hit Paris in spectacular style, with five aircraft flying in from all points of the compass and smashing records as they came. The synchronised arrival of the aircraft was made possible by an anonymous French air traffic controller. "I called Jean-Louis - he didn¹t give his surname - and he did it all," says Learjet 31A co-pilot Bill Landrum. "He just brought in three aircraft with no vectors. We couldn't have done it without him." The Learjet, commanded by Rick Rowe, flew the 469nm (868km) from Belfast to Paris in 1hr 2min. Though that was a record, Rowe and Landrum had been aiming to do the journey in under the hour. In the other record-breaking flights:

A Learjet 45 arrived from Montreal after a short stop in Keflavik, taking 7hr 58min to fly 3,291nm (6,095km). It was flown by Rod Lundy and Shawn Christian.Controls A Learjet 60 arrived from Wichita, Kansas, with a single fuel stop in Gander, taking 9hr 19min to fly 4,217nm (7,810km). At the helm were were Robert Agostino and David Ryan. A Challenger 604 arrived direct from Berlin, taking 1hr 14min to fly 475nm (880km). Warren Breeding and Fred Coffin were at the controls. A Global Express covered the 3,170nm (5,870km) from White Plains, New York, in 6hr 3min. The pilots were John Race and Borden Schofield.

Close co-ordination saw four of the five arrive almost simultaneously, with the Global Express coming in half an hour later. Bombardier marketing and communications VP James Little led the welcoming party at Le Bourget. "This is a great way to start an airshow," he says. "The challenge was to do something extraordinary, and that's just what these fine people have done." He said Bombardier people "had stood as one team" to make the flights and records possible. "We're extremely proud of our tradition of global aerospace firsts at Bombardier Aerospace - from the first ever Learjet 23 to the ultimate business jet, the Bombardier Global Express." The records will be ratified by the Federation Aeronautique Internationale (FAI) and the US National Aeronautics Association. NAA observers were aboard each aircraft.

Source: Flight Daily News