Bombardier unveiled its new Challenger 650 here at NBAA 2014 in Orlando, Fla. The Montreal-headquartered airframer (Booth 281) is refreshing its classic, 10-passenger Challenger 600 series with redesigned cockpit and cabin interiors and optimized GE CF34-3B MTO turbofan engines that will provide additional takeoff thrust on a limited basis to facilitate shorter takeoff distances, greater payloads and more range from “challenging” airports during high/hot operations. Planned maximum range of the new model is 4,000 nm (with six passengers and standard NBAA IFR reserves).
Deliveries of the $33.35 million Challenger 650 are targeted for the second quarter of 2015. Fractional-ownership provider NetJets is the launch customer with a firm order for 25 and options for an additional 50 to be completed to the Signature Series standard specified by NetJets. The order converts a previous NetJets order for Challenger 605 “NG” aircraft placed in 2012.
GE Aviation’s 9,220-pound-thrust CF34-3BMTO engines have 5 percent more takeoff thrust than the engines on the Challenger 605. The additional thrust is pilot selectable via a new performance thrust setting. The higher thrust setting does not impact engine maintenance, provided it is used no more than 10 percent of the time, explained Brad Nolen, Bombardier director of product strategy. He said the new feature would be particularly effective at airports such as Aspen, Colo., and Hilton Head, S.C., and that the extra thrust would not impact engine specific fuel consumption.
Eric Martel, president of Bombardier Business Aircraft, said the 650 is “pushing the envelope” and would deliver the lowest operating costs in its class. The manufacturer claims that the new model will offer more than $1.5 million worth of equipment as standard items than is available on an optional basis with its nearest rival the Dassault Falcon 2000. These include the synthetic vision system and MultiScan weather radar in the cockpit, as well as a galley pocket sliding door and a bulkhead monitor with a baseline audio/video-on-demand (AVOD) system.
The Challenger 650 will feature the Bombardier Vision flight deck based on the Rockwell Collins Pro Line Fusion avionics system, originally designed for the Bombardier Global 6000. Vision features large 15-inch displays and includes head-up guidance, synthetic vision, enhanced vision, MultiScan weather radar and the Integrated Flight Information System.
The 650’s passenger cabin borrows design elements from the cabins of the under-development Learjet 85 and recently refreshed Challenger 350. Improvements include wider seats, a galley with a high-temperature oven, more personal storage in and around the seats and Lufthansa Technik’s nice HD cabin management/in-flight entertainment system that accommodates the latest technologies including HD and audio/video on demand. Styling cues from other Bombardier models include larger interior window cutaways to let in more natural light, bullnose accents that run the length of the drink rail, in-wall speakers and stylized passenger service units.
“We did this as a response to the great success of the Challenger 350 and the enhancements we introduced with that,” Brad Nolan, Bombardier’s director of business aircraft product strategy, told AIN. The 650 will cost around $500,000 more than the current Challenger 605.