Bombardier Launches Challenger 650

 - November 1, 2014, 4:45 AM

Bombardier unveiled the Challenger 650 last month at the NBAA Convention in Orlando, Fla. The Montreal-headquartered airframer is refreshing its classic, 10-passenger 600-series Challenger with redesigned cockpit and cabin interiors and improved GE CF34-3B MTO turbofans that will provide more takeoff thrust 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 next year’s second quarter. Fractional-ownership provider NetJets is the launch customer with a firm order for 25 (and options on 50 more) to be completed to the Signature Series standard specified by NetJets. The contract converts a previous NetJets order for Challenger 605 “NGs” placed in 2012.

Pilot-Selectable Thrust Options

GE Aviation’s 9,220-pound-thrust CF34-3B MTO engines have 5 percent more takeoff thrust than the engines on the Challenger 605. The additional shove is pilot selectable via a new performance thrust setting and does not affect engine maintenance, provided it is used no more than 10 percent of the engine’s logged running time, explained Brad Nolen, Bombardier director of business aircraft product strategy. He said the new feature will be particularly effective at airports such as Aspen, Colo., and Hilton Head, S.C., and that the extra thrust will not degrade specific fuel consumption.

Eric Martel, president of Bombardier Business Aircraft, said the 650 is “pushing the envelope” and will 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 that are available as options on its nearest rival, the Dassault Falcon 2000.

The Challenger 650 will have the Bombardier Vision flight deck, which is based on the Rockwell Collins Pro Line Fusion avionics system and was originally designed for the 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 temperature oven, more personal storage in and around the seats and Lufthansa Technik’s Nice HD cabin management/in-flight entertainment system, which accommodates 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,” Nolen told AIN. The 650 will cost about $500,000 more than the current Challenger 605.