Formula 1 world champion Niki Lauda, through NL Holding GmbH, has ordered a Global 5000. The aircraft, scheduled for delivery at the beginning of 2012, will be the first Global 5000 to be delivered with the new Global Vision flight deck.
"I recently had the opportunity to fly the Global 5000 jet and was extremely impressed with the aircraft's performance and handling characteristics," said Lauda, president of FlyNiki. "I am extremely excited to be the first operator to own a Global 5000 jet with this type of flight deck and I can't wait to fly it.
"Until then, I will continue to fly and travel in my Challenger 300 which still impresses me on every occasion."
Lauda, three times Formula 1 world champion, has a long history in aviation and is the majority shareholder of the Austrian airline FlyNiki. The Challenger 300 jet is operated as his private aircraft, and he frequently uses it to travel to Formula 1 races around the world from his home base in Austria.
He says the Global 5000 combines superior transatlantic speed with an very spacious cabin and features high-speed internet connectivity, extremely good entertainment options, a heads-up flight display system, and one of the largest fields-of-view of any business aircraft.
The range of 5,200 nm, Lauda adds, will enable him to fly non- stop to destinations worldwide, including Grand Prix venues, and connect from Vienna to New York or Vienna to Tokyo with three crew and eight passengers.
Bob Horner, svp sales, Bombardier Business Aircraft, says: "Niki Lauda is a long-time Bombardier customer and vocal promoter of the Challenger 300 he currently operates. It has been a great year for the Global aircraft programme. Even in a difficult economy, we continue to see strong interest."
Lauda was born in Vienna and became a racing driver despite family disapproval. He started out in a Mini, moving into Formula Vee and then quickly progressing to driving private Porsche and Chevron sports cars.
Lauda paid his way into the March team as a Formula 2 driver in 1971, where promotion to the F1 team rapidly followed. Lauda got into the BRM team in 1973 but his big break came in 1974 when Ferrari signed him. His racing career continued until 1985. Niki Luftfahrt GmbH was founded in 2003.