Bombardier Aerospace took the wraps off the Challenger 350–an upgraded Challenger 300 with a new wing, more powerful engines, larger windows and redesigned interior on May 19 on the EBACE show floor. NetJets was also announced as the launch customer for the new $25.8 million twinjet, which is $1 million more than its fraternal twin, which Bombardier will continue to offer. First deliveries of the new Challenger are scheduled to begin in May 2014.
“The Challenger 350 will take our existing Challenger family to new heights,” said Bombardier Business Aircraft president Steve Ridolfi. “This aircraft further enhances our leading business aircraft portfolio and will provide our customers with redefined design standards. Passengers will experience new comfort levels as they relax in the completely new cabin, enjoy a purpose-built and intuitive cabin management system and increase their efficiency.”
According to Ridolfi, the changes in the Challenger 350 reflect feedback from existing Challenger customers, as well as from NetJets. “Based on our owners’ and operators’ needs,” he said, “we have taken the world’s best-selling super-midsize jet and further increased its capability to better meet the growing requirements of our Challenger customer base worldwide.”
Notably, the Challenger 350 has a new wing with canted winglets that make the wingspan nearly nine-feet wider (at 69 feet) than its predecessor. The longer and stronger wing allows both for an increased mtow of 40,600 pounds–1,750 pounds more than the Challenger 300–and around 750 pounds more fuel capacity. With the extra fuel, the Challenger 350 has an NBAA IFR range of 3,200 nm with eight passengers, 135 nm farther than the 300.
The Challenger 350’s pair of Honeywell HTF7350 engines produce 7,323 pounds of thrust each, which is about 500 pounds more thrust than the HTF7000s on the Challenger 300 but with roughly the same fuel consumption. Thanks to the extra power from the HTF7350s, the new jet will be able to climb directly to FL430 quicker.
The Challenger 350 also features an entirely new interior that lets even more natural light into the cabin thanks to its 20-percent larger windows, which are 2.5 inches taller than those in the Model 300. Featuring Lufthansa Technik’s niceHD cabin management system, the cabin includes contemporary seats, a new modular galley and a side-ledge with metal trim.
At the front end, the Challenger 350 sports the Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 Advanced avionics system. Features of the new avionics include synthetic vision, dual inertial reference system, a completely paperless cockpit and MultiScan weather radar. The new avionics will provide pilots with increased situational awareness and reduced pilot workload.
Bombardier converted its original Challenger 300 prototype to the full Challenger 350 configuration and has been flying it with these upgrades since March. While it didn’t bring the aircraft to EBACE, the company does have a cabin mockup of the new aircraft at its EBACE booth in Hall 7.