A teddy bear called "Snuggles" and an unborn child to be named "Jet" were on an Air France Concorde that on Wed-nes-day broke two round-the-world speed records for a passenger plane.
The 99 passengers and 18 crew members left New York's John F. Kennedy airport at 11:49 a.m. EDT Tuesday, traveling eastward, and returned Wednesday at 7:16 p.m. EDT on a journey that included six refueling stops in France, the United Arab Emirates, Thailand, Guam, Hawaii and Mexico.Landing in New York more than an hour earlier than expected in 31 hours, 27 minutes and 49 seconds, the supersonic luxury jet broke two records - an Air France Concorde's westbound time of 32 hours, 49 minutes and three seconds, set Oct. 12-13, 1992, and the previous eastbound time of 36 hours, 8 minutes and 34 seconds set by a Gulfstream IV business jet Feb. 26-27, 1988.
"I'm going to call my baby `Jet'," pregnant lawyer Patricia Long Brown of Fresno, Calif., told reporters. She was among 45 winners of a competition to take the trip.
Typist Bettie VeerKemp of Dallas clutched a teddy bear given to her by a 12-year-old neighbor. "He wanted Snuggles on the flight so he could say the teddy bear went around the world," she said.
The plane completed 25,252 miles, and its actual flying time was 22 hours, 39 minutes and 21 seconds, with an average speed of 1,114.5 mph, said Don Pevsner, president of Concorde Spirit Tours, which organized the event. He said eight hours, 48 minutes and 28 seconds were spent refueling at the six stops.
"It was pretty cool. The best moment was breaking the sound barrier," said another passenger, Marty Dugard. "Everyone on the trip was into it. It was a supersonic party bus."
While the passengers could not contain their excitement at being part of the record-breaking event, the crew wanted to sleep.
"We are tired and we're going to celebrate by going to sleep in bed," Pilot Michel Dupont said.