The award ceremony was held at the National Building Museum. If you’ve never been, it’s a wonderful space of classic design and dramatic proportion, built in 1888 to host U.S. presidential inaugural balls and other grand soirees. The grandeur and history of the building got me thinking about the great minds and brave souls in aviation history who got us to where we are today.
In Canada, a good starting point is John Alexander Douglas McCurdy. On February 23, 1909, McCurdy flew the Silver Dart for nearly half a mile in Baddeck, Nova Scotia. It was the first Canadian powered flight of a heavier-than-air machine. By today’s standards, the Silver Dart looks quite primitive. It had no brakes, was constructed out of steel tubing, wood, bamboo, friction tape, and wire. Its name was inspired by the silver-looking rubberized fabric used to cover the aircraft.
Much has transpired in our industry since McCurdy’s first flight. Since then, we’ve broken the sound barrier, developed rockets to propel people to orbit the earth and beyond, and where air travel was once exotic or out of reach for all but a few, it has now become a staple of modern life for billions.
Innovation in the Canadian aerospace industry hasn’t slowed in years following the Silver Dart either. Bombardier’s Global 7500 is proof of that.
Its recent record-setting flight of 8,152 nautical miles, is the longest flight by a business jet in the history of the world – and we did it with plenty fuel reserves to spare! This means our customers can fly a third of the circumference of the Earth without having to land for fuel -- from Toronto to Johannesburg; from London to Honolulu or Athens to Perth.
At Bombardier, we’ve long been committed to finding new ways to improve how people travel, to pushing the envelope, and to setting new standards. We’re certainly grateful for the recognition by Aviation Week and so many others. It’s inspiration to keep us pushing towards greater heights. Thank you.
Vice President Communications and Public Affairs