Bombardier Challenger 350: Buyer’s and Investor’s guide
Innovative technology found throughout a highly luxurious cabin.
For some missions its range lets the Challenger 350 down
The Challenger 350 is the updated version of Bombardier’s Challenger 300 aircraft – designed to compete in the crowded super-midsize sector it is purported to be best-in-class by Bombardier. It has proven very popular, with factional ownership firms praising it for its “comfort and superior performance”.
Bombardier recently marked the 350th delivery of the Challenger 350 business jet, a milestone reached after only six years in service.
With a true, seats full range of 3,682mi/5,926km/3,200nm, the Challenger 350 is able to fly transatlantic routes, connecting New York with most major European cities. Competitors, however, outperform it, with aircraft such as the G280 being able to fly a further 460mi/741km/400nm – a significant increase in range.
In terms of speed, the Challenger 350 is a relatively fast jet with a high-speed cruise of 540mph/870kph/Mach 0.82, enabling passengers to fly from Los Angeles to New York in four and a half hours.
An initial climb altitude of 43,000ft and a maximum cruising altitude of 45,000ft both help to reduce fuel burn, as well as enabling the Challenger 350 to fly over any bad weather.
Bombardier’s Challenger series consists of the 350 and the larger 650 version. The Challenger 650 is slightly more capable and can provide the same level of comfort, but is a more expensive option.
An evolution of the Challenger 300, the redesigned cabin features eight seats in a double-club layout – with the newly designed seats being able to turn into 180 degree lie-flat beds. The Challenger 350 uses slide-ledge passenger control units, allowing easy access to flight information, cabin controls and multimedia – an innovative design for cabin management systems. WiFi and multimedia ports enable passengers to wirelessly stream entertainment to their personal devices.
On connectivity, Bombardier is introducing high-speed Viasat Ka-band connectivity aboard the Challenger 350 for an enhanced internet experience. With service packages offering the fastest available download speeds in the super mid-size segment, this offering will be available on new and in-service Challenger 350 aircraft, as well as on all in-service Challenger 300-series aircraft.
Bombardier is also refreshing the user interface for the cabin management system aboard the Challenger 350 aircraft, taking inspiration from the design of Bombardier’s flagship Global 7500 aircraft to deliver a modern user experience via side ledge touchscreens and a new, platform-specific app. This new design also integrates moving maps, making it easier than ever to stay visually informed of flight progress.
Bombardier has made several other recent enhancements to the Challenger 350 aircraft, including cabin sound-proofing technology, refined cockpit aesthetics and an available Head-up Display (HUD) and Enhanced Vision System (EVS). A performance improvement package allows the aircraft to fly up to 1,500 nautical miles farther than before out of short runways.
The cabin is spacious and comfortable, with an impressive width of 7ft 2in and a maximum headroom of 6ft. This makes it one of the larger cabins in the super-midsize market and provides the room to option a three-seat divan.
List price for a new Challenger 350 is $25.9 million, with pre-owned aircraft available for around $17 million.
Bombardier offers a 24/7 global support service and distribution network, and has a good history of supporting the Challenger series aircraft. Bombardier also aims for a 20-minute removal and replacement target if parts need replacing, theoretically reducing maintenance time.
The aircraft has proved popular, especially for fractional ownership firms. Flexjet ordered 40 aircraft, and NetJets ordered up to 75 – showing that support for the smaller Challenger aircraft is still strong.
Maximum range: 3,682mi/5,926km/3,200nm
Maximum speed: 540mph/870kph/Mach 0.82
Typical passengers: 9
Typical crew: 4
Competition: G280, Citation Longitude, Legacy 600, Falcon 2000S, Challenger 650, Citation X
List price: $25.9 million
Price for pre-owned aircraft: $15-18 million