Bombardier unveils Lear 60XR, Challenger 300 cabin mockups

 - November 8, 2006, 11:10 AM

To reach out and touch the future is the dream, said Bombardier president and COO Pierre Beaudoin. At Bombardier’s static display on Monday, the dream was presented as a reality with the unveiling of full-scale, functional interior mockups of its new Learjet 60XR and its midsize Challenger 300.

The Learjet 60XR upgrade includes greater shoulder room and headroom when seated in redesigned seats with more legroom. The galley is larger, and the lavatory vanity cabinet offers more surface and additional storage space.

The entertainment system features next-generation Audio International electronics with simplified touch-screen controls. The audio/video system is XM satellite radio capable and ports are available for entertainment accessories such as laptop computers and DVD and MP3 players. LED lighting is standard, and a window significantly brightens the lavatory.

New Flight Deck

The cockpit mockup gives visitors a look at a flight deck redesign that includes Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 avionics. The integrated avionics package includes four 8- by 10-inch, high-resolution LCD adaptive flight screens. An optional second file server eliminates the need for paper-based navigation charts.

The Learjet 60XR was announced at NBAA in November 2005 and was certified this September. The first airplane is scheduled to enter service in next year’s first quarter.

Perhaps more impressive is the new Challenger 300 cabin, featuring the Nice  cabin management system, developed in partnership with Lufthansa Technik of Hamburg, Germany. It is the first major cabin upgrade for the midsize twinjet, which entered service in January 2004. Nice had previously been available only in larger bizliner executive/VIP aircraft, for which it was originally developed. Ethernet-based Nice integrates previously unlinked cabin management, communication and entertainment elements into a single control system. Cabin temperature, lighting and on-board entertainment and communication systems are centrally managed via touch-screens located at each individual passenger seat.

QinetiQ Sound

Passengers can view DVD movies or Powerpoint demonstrations on one of two 20-inch, high-definition LCD widescreens. There is also an iPod access plug. Digital “surround sound” is distributed throughout the cabin via QinetiQ electronics through audio transducers mounted to overhead and side panels.

Speaking at the unveiling, Beaudoin referred to the company’s recent successes, noting that sales in the second quarter of this year exceeded those of the second quarter 2005 by 29 percent. He further noted the 10th anniversary of its annual Bombardier-sponsored Safety Standdown, and announced that the Montreal-based company has committed to an additional decade of support for the program.

Beaudoin also emphasized Bombardier’s continuing efforts to improve its service and support network, noting that the fleet-wide dispatch reliability has improved to 99 percent, parts availability is improving, and existing Bombardier-approved service centers are being expanded and additional service centers are being added.

He also made note of the expanded Bombardier presence on the static line, with eight aircraft on display, including the new Challenger 605 and the Global XRS.