Texas billionaire Toby Neugebauer was named today as the launch customer for Nextant Aerospace’s 604XT avionics retrofit, which features the Rockwell Collins Pro Line Fusion. Neugebauer selected the standard avionics configuration, which will address pending regulatory requirements such as ADS-B OUT and TCAS 7.1.
“The Challenger 604 is the perfect aircraft for my mission requirements,” said Neugebauer. “With the introduction of the 604XT upgrade, Nextant has solved the pending regulatory and obsolescence issues that were facing much of the original cockpit technology.”
Meanwhile, Nextant also confirmed that the 604XT avionics certification program is running ahead of schedule, with first flight scheduled for this month and FAA and EASA certification in June 2018.
More details about what cabin, aerodynamic and/or engine upgrades would be part of a more comprehensive 604XT program are expected to be revealed next month by Nextant at the NBAA Convention.When Nextant announced the program in May at EBACE, company executive vice president Jay Heublein said that, beyond the need for avionics upgrades, the in-service fleet of 360 Challenger 604s will be due for heavy structural inspection schedules in the coming years. This combination of a large in-service fleet, avionics obsolescence and nearing heavy inspections made the twinjet an excellent candidate for remanufacturing, he noted.