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Mon, Apr 08, 2024

Record Flight Is A Fundraiser for Classic Learjet Foundation

First Production Learjet 23 to Fly Record Flight

In an ambitious endeavor to pay homage to aviation history and support preservation efforts, a team in Wichita, Kansas has embarked on a speed record attempt with a noble cause at its heart.

The mission, led by Global Jet Care, aims to circumnavigate the globe, starting and ending in Wichita, in a bid to set a new speed record while generating funds for the Classic Learjet Foundation.

The focus of the fundraising efforts is the restoration of the Learjet 23-003, a significant piece of aviation history as the first business jet to emerge from Learjet’s Wichita production line in the mid-1960s.

This pioneering aircraft, only produced between 1964 and 1966, represents the dawn of the business jet era, making its preservation a priority for the Classic Learjet Foundation.

Bart Gray, a member of the foundation's board and the captain of this record-setting flight, drew inspiration from the groundbreaking aerial navigation undertaken by the Army Air Corps in 1924. This historical event, which Gray closely aligns with both in spirit and date, saw aviators embarking on the first ever flight around the world, a feat that took 175 days with 75 stops. In contrast, Gray's team plans to complete their journey in just over 54 hours, spanning 11 stops across the globe.

The journey, which has garnered support from multiple sponsors for each leg, is not just a test of speed and endurance but also a testament to the advancements in aviation technology. From California to Canada, each stop on this global tour is a step closer to both a potential new world record and the vital restoration of a classic piece of aviation heritage.

As the flight progresses, aviation enthusiasts and supporters of the Classic Learjet Foundation can follow the journey online, offering an unprecedented opportunity to witness history in the making. Moreover, the initiative shines a spotlight on the importance of preserving our aviation legacy, ensuring that iconic aircraft like the Learjet 23-003 continue to inspire future generations.

The Classic Learjet Foundation’s commitment to maintaining aviation history, coupled with the adventurous spirit of this record attempt, underscores the enduring fascination with flight and the importance of safeguarding its history for posterity.

FMI: centurymission.org

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