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Bombardier has received full type certification from EASA for the Challenger 650. “Our CL650 aircraft successfully entered into service in 2015 and is now about to make its European debut in 2016,” says president David Coleal. “Demand for this aircraft is strong around the world and with certification now in hand, we are eager for EASA-registered customers to experience the brand new jet.”
The aircraft's cabin has angled touch screen controllers, metal accent trim and wider seats than its predecessors. Challenger 600 series jets are the most delivered medium category aircraft in Europe, and the OEM is looking to continue this trend by equipping the CL650 with a redesigned galley as well as an advanced cabin management system, large high definition monitors, video on demand and bluetooth integration.
“In terms of popularity in Europe I don't think I would isolate one particular country,” adds director of product strategy and market development Brad Nolen.
“We have delivered over 1,000 Challenger 600 series to date, of which about 130 are operating in Europe, which is in line with our market forecast. For the CL650 we expect the same sort of representation that we have seen for the CL600 historically in Europe.
“Last year we announced an order from an operator currently using CL600 series aircraft out of Switzerland: air ambulance company Rega, which will be using three CL650s in the future. For the typical customer profile, usually we would see about 50 per cent of people that are flying in a 650 coming from beneath it, that is to say people who are coming into business aviation for the first time, from Challenger 300 series, from Learjets, or from competitors. The other 50 per cent is from recirculation of the existing 600 series customer base.”
When discussing the standout feature of the latest aircraft, Nolen says it builds on the 600 series' key attributes: value proposition and inflight experience. “It has the lowest operating costs in class, a very competitive hourly rate on the engine, low fuel consumption, and high reliability,” he explains. “This attracts buyers to the Challenger 600 series in general. But if you asked me to pick one new feature on the Challenger 650, it would be the interior. On top of being the widest cabin in its class, we have completely updated the seats, entertainment system and controls.
“The Challenger cross-section is the same as that on the Globals; it is a really comfortable cabin at a competitive price point. London City approval is something that we traditionally have offered on the 600 series, so we will also be offering this on the 650 for European customers. We have added a considerable amount of thrust to the engine, which lets us get in and out of smaller airfields, and enables us to fly farther or with more payload out of our regular airfields.”
Range of 4,000 nm will connect London to New York, Dubai to London and Sao Paulo to Miami non-stop. The cockpit also features the Bombardier Vision flight deck, which is designed to increase situational awareness and reduce pilot workload via a flight management computer, synthetic vision system, MultiScan weather radar and EVS.