Bombardier officially expanded its Challenger family of business jets with the launch yesterday of the new Challenger 350 aircraft. Bombardier’s partner in the launch is the US-based private aviation company NetJets, which has placed a firm order for 75 of the Challenger 350s, with an option for 125 more, with a total value of $5.4 billion. The announcement was made at the European Business Aviation Conference and Exhibition (EBACE) in Geneva, Switzerland.
In a statement NetJets says that the new “super midsize” Bombardier aircraft, each with a price of $25.9 million, will become its Signature Series Challenger 350, beginning in 2014. The Challenger acquisition is part of a ten-year NetJet fleet expansion plan to add up to 670 new aircraft with a total value of $17.6 billion.
NetJets worked with Bombardier and customer focus groups to design the interiors of the aircraft to suit its customers’ preferences, with “exceptionally quiet” cabin, hand crafted leathers, “meticulously designed” wood finishes, an in-flight entertainment system, and a single service beverage maker, all designed specifically by NetJets.
The Chairman and CEO of NetJets, Jordan Hansell said, “The high design was all in an effort to allow our customers to relax and enjoy their flight whether for work or family. This state-of-the art jet’s cabin, designed in partnership with Bombardier Aerospace, will provide our discerning customers the best flight experience, along with the safety and reliability they expect from the worldwide leader in private aviation.”
Bombardier says that the Challenger 350 jet offers “class-defining performance,” with a 6,083km range, capable of flying New York to Los Angeles. The Challenger 350 jet is powered by twin Honeywell HTF7350 engines, each producing 7,323 lbf (32.57 kN) of thrust, and reduced emissions. Canted winglets allow for increased aerodynamic efficiency. The cockpit will feature Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 Advanced avionics, which include synthetic vision, dual inertial reference systems, a completely paperless cockpit and Multiscan Weather Radar.
Bombardier says that customer support will be “24/7” around the world, through its worldwide network of service centres, parts depots and regional support offices.