The turbofan engine powering the Challenger 300, Honeywell’s 6,500-lb-thrust AS907, received certification by the JAA on December 3. The first production engines were scheduled for delivery to Bombardier by year-end for installation on a Challenger 300 (formerly the Continental) production aircraft.
Space Shuttle Challenger
Certification of the 3,100-nm super-midsize Challenger 300 was scheduled for the first quarter of this year, but Bombardier said last month that this approval would not happen until the second quarter. At press time, four flight-test Challenger 300s had logged more than 1,640 hours during 759 flights. The flight-test program is being conducted at Bombardier’s Wichita Flight Test Center.
Although, sadly, the man most responsible for the accomplishment would not be around to see this day, Universal Avionics last month received FAA approval for the company’s EFI-890R retrofit cockpit in a Challenger. A week before the FAA awarded an STC for the Challenger series, on September 12, company founder Hubert Naimer died in Vienna, Austria, of natural causes at age 82.
Rockwell Collins’ HGS-6605 head-up guidance system (HGS) will be a new option on Bombardier’s recently certified Challenger 605.
The agreement, said John Desmond, v-p of head-up guidance systems for Rockwell Collins, “builds on a long tradition of providing Bombardier with…head-up display technology.” That tradition includes the Challenger 604, the CRJ series and the Q-Series turboprop regional airliner.
Canadian manufacturer Bombardier delivered the first Challenger 300 from its Montreal center in January. Before a restructuring last year, the company had expected to do Challenger 300 interiors at its Tucson, Ariz. facility, but shifted the responsibility to its new integrated manufacturing center in Montreal. The center combines final assembly activities with interior completion and paint for all of its Challenger business jet line.
Even during the worst days of the recent recession, the demand for aircraft exterior paint remained relatively strong. Some completion and refurbishment shops even expanded their paint capability during this period. Elliott Aviation was one such shop.
The Challenger 605, announced this afternoon, will feature upgrades in the cockpit and cabin over the Challenger 604, which will be replaced following expected certification of the 605 in the fourth quarter of next year. In the cockpit, a Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 avionics suite will replace the Pro Line 4. Cabin improvements include LED lighting and more storage capacity, as well as new galley and lavatory configurations.
Operators of all U.S.-registered Challenger 600s, 601s and 604s and Canadair Regional Jets, which are derived from the business jet, must incorporate flight manual revisions to ensure that before takeoff the “wing leading edge and upper wing surface are completely free of ice, frost, snow or slush,” under a new AD. The FAA directive (AD 2005-04-07) followed an identical AD from Transport Canada.
Darby Aviation is the latest to feel the wrath of the FAA in the wake of the Challenger runway overrun accident at Teterboro Airport (see page 58). On March 23 the agency ordered “the indefinite suspension” of the Muscle Shoals, Ala. charter operator’s Part 135 certificate. The agency said in part that by “selling, assigning and/or leasing its air carrier certificate to Platinum [Jet Management] and relinquishing operational control
Bombardier’s Challenger 605, announced at the 2005 NBAA Convention, made a nearly 3.5-hour maiden flight on January 22 in Montreal. “The first flight went very well,” pilot Frank Magnusson told AIN. “There were no surprises at all.” The length of the flight was longer than typical. Said Magnusson: “The airplane performed flawlessly so we just kept going” and ended as sunset approached.