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As the sun set Aug. 28 in West Hollywood, Barry Bonds, NBCUniversal partnerships and licensing head Jonathan Treisman, Prince Frederic Von Anhalt (aka Mr. Zsa Zsa Gabor) and more than 150 other attendees gulped wine and listened to a five-piece jazz band while standing in a line that stretched to nearly 20 minutes long just to check out the event’s headliner.
What could keep such a disparate group of high-net-worth partygoers dutifully waiting around? A plane fuselage lacking wings, of all things, parked next to the plaza fountain of the Pacific Design Center. The cabin mock-up of the eight-seat, $18 million Learjet 85, the fastest Learjet to date — whose first 100 units already have been ordered and will begin hitting the market next year — was placed there by its manufacturer, Bombardier, a Canadian aerospace firm that has made it its business of late to become the brand of choice in Hollywood.