Each year the Farnborough International Airshow in the United Kingdom features all things aviation including general aviation, commercial aviation and military aviation aircraft. Since the early days of the airshow the name of the game for aviation was speed, and this year was no different.
This year featured a race between the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes race car driven by world champion Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton and a Bombardier of Canada Learjet 60 XR aircraft. Bombardier representatives noted that Hamilton has won seven Grand Prix races, and epitomizes what the Learjet stands for: speed, power, agility and performance.
On Monday, opening day of the airshow, Hamilton drove his race car at full tilt while the Learjet roared 200 feet above his head down the runway in an exhilarating race between two speed machines and - guess what - the McLaren car driven by Hamilton won the race!
Hamilton admitted being a little nervous being on the runway with the Learjet, which he could not see, shadowing his every move just above him as he accelerated to over 280 km/h!. Hamilton is the Bombardier Learjet Ambassador and the race commemorated the 45th anniversary of the birth of the Learjet.
Hamilton noted that "I'm quite often here so I know what it's like on the runway in a plane, but being in a Formula One car I was looking for the plane - I know it was quite spectacular and I do hope I get the opportunity (to fly the Learjet) soon."
He noted that "Between driving the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes on the race track and traveling to my race destinations in high-speed Learjet aircraft I've grown quite used to spending time in high performance machines."
What a rush, eh? Until next time keep your wings straight and level Hersch!