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Israel’s First Commercial Jetliners Displayed at International Air Show

President Georges Pompidou of France visited the Israeli pavilion today after he officially opened the International Air Show at Le Bourget Airport. The French leader was greeted by Israeli Ambassador Asher Ben Nathan and Alfred Schwimmer, director general of Israel Aircraft Industries. On public display abroad for the first time were Israel’s first home-built commercial jets, the “Jet Commander,” an executive plane and the “Arava.” The latter is a short-take-off-and-landing (STOL) plane adaptable for either passenger or cargo service. M. Pompidou said, “I see that you manufacture planes. This is good.” But pleading weariness after a strenuous day visiting exhibits, he declined an invitation by Ben Nathan to inspect the Israeli jets more closely. The two planes will participate in a “fly-past” at the Air Show on Saturday. Last night Israel’s aircraft industry was honored at a reception hold in Ambassador Ben Nathan’s residence. It was attended by officials of the French Office of Aeronautical Material Exports and several senior generals of France’s Air Force.

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