The Challenger 350 will become the time-to-climb leader of the entire Bombardier business jet line once it enters service next year, Bombardier Challenger vice president and general manager Stéphane Leblanc said at a technical briefing at EBACE. Bombardier expects the super-midsize jet to reach 41,000 feet in 18 minutes, surpassing the manufacturer’s current leader, the Learjet 60.
Movie star and pilot, as well as Bombardier brand ambassador, John Travolta has been working as a flight-test pilot supporting the airframer’s efforts to get the Challenger 350 certified. Now 30 percent through the flight-test program, the Challenger 350 has flown some 200 hours, validating performance specifications related to a new set of winglets that effectively extend the wingspan of its Challenger 300 cousin by nine feet.
The longer and stronger wing allows for an increase in mtow of 1,750 pounds over the Challenger 300 and about 750 more pounds of fuel. Other performance improvements come from the airplane’s new Honeywell HTF7350 engines, which produce 500 pounds more thrust than the HTF7000 on the Challenger 300 while burning no more fuel.
Following the reconfirmation on Monday of a firm order placed last year by NetJets for 75 Challenger 350s, Bombardier began sales efforts involving other potential customers. However, Leblanc declined to comment whether any further orders have since been logged, citing company policy.