Estimated reading time 3 minutes, 42 seconds.
When Skies reviewed Bombardier’s outlook on June 2, we noted that “Bombardier may see the need to refresh its Challenger 350 and Challenger 650 models that entered service in June 2014 and December 2015, respectively.”
During a virtual event on Sept. 14, Bombardier announced the launch of the Challenger 3500, an enhanced variant of the Challenger 350.
Key attributes of the new model include:
- a cabin altitude of 4,850 feet at 41,000 feet, representing a 31 percent improvement compared to the Challenger 350;
- a redesigned cabin that features Bombardier’s “Nuage” seat, recently introduced on the newest Global models; a voice-controlled management system for lighting, temperature and entertainment; wireless chargers throughout the cabin; and industry-leading 24-inch 4K monitors;
- an enhanced cockpit that includes an autothrottle system; and
- an increased range capability of 3,400 nm, a 6.25 percent improvement over the Challenger 350’s 3,200 nm maximum range.
Given that the Challenger 350 is the older of the two current Challenger models, Bombardier’s announcement makes sense. It also reflects the fact that the Challenger 350 has been extremely successful with leading fractional ownership operators like NetJets, VistaJet and Flexjet, as well as corporate flight departments and families/individuals.
“We are thrilled to launch a business jet that features all the best-selling elements of the Challenger platform – impressive performance, consistent reliability, exceptional smooth ride – while elevating the cabin experience for our customers,” said Éric Martel, president and CEO, Bombardier. “Building on the success of the unrivalled Global 7500 business jet cabin, the Challenger 3500 aircraft prioritizes what our customers value most: a truly exceptional cabin experience.”
According to the OEM, the Challenger 3500 flight test program is utilizing a “sustainability approach” designed by World Fuel Services. “The solution removes some of the carbon emissions from the fuel of the test flights by using book-and-claim Sustainable Aviation Fuel purchases, and then attains carbon neutrality by retiring offsets to balance the remaining carbon emissions from the jet fuel.”
After flight testing and once the new aircraft has been certified, the Challenger 3500 is expected to enter service during the second half of 2022 – roughly eight years after its predecessor.