In a ceremony Friday at its facility at New York Westchester County Airport, NetJets accepted the first Bombardier Challenger 350 as launch customer for the super-midsize jet. “This is a terrific piece of machinery and we couldn’t be more excited about it,” said NetJets chairman and CEO Jordan Hansell.
An upgrade of the Challenger 300, the $25.8 million jet is powered by a pair of Honeywell HTF7350 turbofans, which provide more thrust than the HTF7000s on its predecessor. The flight deck has a Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 avionics suite, and the cabin design is exclusive to NetJets’ Signature Series version of the Challenger 350.
As part of a $17.6 billion fleet renewal program, NetJets expects to receive eight Signature Series 350s this year, followed by 17 next year. According to Hansell, the type will replace the Gulfstream G200 in the Ohio-based operator’s fleet.
Soon after the ceremony concluded, the aircraft was flown to Connecticut for contract signings before heading to the company’s Columbus headquarters, where it will begin approximately three weeks of FAA conformity inspections as the first of its type, before being placed on the NetJets operating certificate.