Members of Greteman Group joined the thousands who gathered at One Learjet Way on October 25 to celebrate the Year of Learjet finale. The day kicked off with a commemoration ceremony that included a Learjet 24 flyby by renowned pilot and aerial cinematographer Clay Lacy.
If Lacy’s name isn’t familiar to you, his work is. He’s shot scenes for everything from such Hollywood blockbusters as Top Gun and The Right Stuff to airline commercials. That coupled with his other flying experience – air race, alrline, experimental, military, private – has racked up 50,000 flight hours, earning him more time flying a jet than any person worldwide. Oh, and did we mention that he was born and raised in Wichita?
The first Learjet 35, now on permanent display at Bombardier Wichita, made a beautiful backdrop for a ceremony that included words by Mayor Carl Brewer, Bombardier Learjet VP and GM David Coleal and VP John Dieker. Employees who worked on the original Learjet 35 program were recognized onstage.
Eleven Bombardier aircraft made for a stop-you-in-your-tracks static display, while a mockup of the new, all-composite Learjet 85 midsize aircraft had everyone talking. The interior, designed by Wichita’s own Bill Goings and Laurie Cox, includes a sleek black and white cabin with a stunning raw silk headliner. This will be one gorgeous, high-performance jet.
A small evening reception for customers, state officials (including aviation-booster Gov. Kathleen Sibelius) and partners looked ahead to new opportunities while reflecting on all that’s happened since 1963 and that first history-making flight. When the Learjet 23 took to the skies over Wichita, it created a new category of flight. Business aviation. And a new breed of traveler. The jetset.
Sonia had great fun reconnecting with longtime friend Don Grommesh, who helped Bill Lear develop the original Learjet.