My Cart

Close
Welcome to U2 Graphics! We are ready for takeoff.

Bombardier Challenger 300/350

Posted on May 17 2021

Bombardier Challenger 300/350/3500 user+1@localho… Wed, 08/03/2022 - 21:17

The Challenger 300, 350 and 3500 are super-midsize-category business jets that are the commercial designations of Bombardier’s BD-100-1A10 type. Launched at the 1999 Paris Air Show, the Challenger 300 was originally marketed as the “Continental,” with the first prototype airframe—Serial No. 20001—making its first flight on Aug. 14, 2001. Subsequently, the BD-100-1A10 type received Transport Canada certification on May 30, 2003, and entered service in 2004. An updated version of the type was announced on May 20, 2013, during that year’s European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition (EBACE) in Geneva, Switzerland, with the updated airframe featuring improved avionics, engines and winglets, as well as an interior that was described by Bombardier at the time as being “entirely new.” The improved BD-100-1A10 is marketed as the Challenger 350 and received Transport Canada approval on June 11, 2014, with FAA approval following on June 25, 2014. On June 26, 2014, two days after receiving of FAA approval, Bombardier delivered the first Challenger 350 to fractional operator NetJets at Westchester County Airport in White Plains, NY. That airframe was registered as N762QS and represented the first of “up to 200 Challenger 350 ‘Signature Series’ aircraft” for the company that were intended to replace its Gulfstream G200 airplanes. The Challenger 300 commercial designation was used for BD-100-1A10 airframes with Serial Nos. 20001 to 20457, while airframes of that type including and subsequent to Serial No. 20501 are marketed as the Challenger 350. The type certificate for BD-100-1A10 is held by Bombardier Inc. in Montreal, Quebec.

On Sept. 14, 2021, Bombardier announced an upgraded version of the Challenger 350 that is marketed as the Challenger 3500 and which features a cabin that is described as being “fully redesigned.” At the time it was launched, the company stated that it was expected that the rebranded and upgraded airframe would enter into service during the latter half of 2022, with the change in commercial designation bringing the airplane into “align[ment] with [the company’s] Global 5500, 6500 and 7500.”

Cabin

Both the Challenger 300 and 350 have a maximum passenger capacity of 16, with two pilots required to operate those airplanes and the latter’s flat-floor cabin having a height of 6 ft., width of 7 ft. 2 in. and length—measured between the “cockpit divider [and] the aft most cabin without [the] baggage compartment”—of 25 ft. 2 in. Despite being certified to accommodate that many passengers, Bombardier markets the Challenger 350’s cabin as having “flexible seating arrangements for up to 10 passengers.” The standard interior configuration for the Challenger 350’s cabin—which Bombardier promotes as the “executive” configuration—includes eight executive seats arranged in a club configuration, as well as a belted seat in the lavatory. Cabin seating can be increased from eight to 10 by replacing “the left rear-facing club chairs” with an optional divan that has seating for three and which is also berthable, a configuration marketed as the “globetrotter” layout. The Challenger 350’s seats are also promoted as having “berthing capability,” tracking and the ability to recline and swivel 180 deg., with “quick-access storage compartments” and tables that fold into the cabin sidewalls also part of the standard interior configuration. Bombardier further markets the Challenger 350’s cabin as being the “largest in its class,” with the cross-section—which measures 5 ft. 1 in. at the floor level and 7 ft. 2 in. at its widest point—described by the company as being “the widest of any super-midsize jet with a flat-floor design,” and comparable to the cross-sections of airplanes in the ultra-long-range category. The company also notes the size of the cabin’s windows—18 in. tall—as well as the amount of natural light that they allow into the cabin.  

Other features of the Challenger 350’s standard interior configuration include a forward galley that is promoted for its total size and the size of the work surface, as well as for the inclusion of a microwave and an ice drawer that is drainable. In addition to the ice drawer and microwave, “a coffeemaker or espresso machine,” trash can and storage space for beverages, food and flatware are also standard. Supplementing those standard features are galley options such as a wet sink and a “gasper-cooled food compartment.” Also found in the Challenger 350’s forward cabin are the entry and sliding pocket doors—both of which are sound insulating, with the latter of separating the cabin entrance from the main cabin—as well as a wardrobe that is available for use by crew and passengers. Aft of the 16.5-ft.-long main cabin seating area is a lavatory that has a vanity with a backlit mirror and a wet sink, with the aft lavatory also providing access to the 106-ft.3baggage compartment that can hold up to 750 lb. or “26 large suitcases.” All three BD-100-based airframes give passengers inflight access to that compartment, which has the same volume across the Challenger 300, 350 and 3500.

Passenger connectivity options for the Challenger 350 include 4G air-to-ground (ATG) internet which is promoted for domestic flights in the U.S., KA-band internet that Bombardier states has the fastest speeds and SwiftBroadband that provides “worldwide coverage.” The 4 ATG and KA-band options are described as enabling passengers to stream movies, music and sports, as well as allowing video conferencing. Other cabin entertainment features include forward and aft high-definition bulkhead monitors that measure 22 in. and “universal HDMI and USB ports.” The HDMI and USB ports are a standard part of the airframe’s inflight entertainment system, and are supplemented by 3-D moving maps, “an Iridum satcom phone” and a Blu-ray player. According to Bombardier, the cabin’s entertainment features and the overall cabin environment can be controlled through wirelessly through passenger’s personal electronic devices, as well as through the use of “angled touchscreen[s]” that are located alongside each seat which are “inspired” by what is found on the company’s Global 7500 ultra-long-range category airframe. Those angled touchscreens allow passengers to control cabin lighting, temperature and entertainment—music and video—in addition to being able to display “real-time flight information.” With regard to the Challenger 350’s cabin management system, the airframe features Lufthansa Technik’s nice HD cabin management system.  

Promoted as having a cabin that is the “most technologically advanced in its class,” the features of the Challenger 3500’s “redesigned interior” includes Bombardier’s Nuage seat that was designed for and is installed on the Global 7500. However, while both airframes feature that seat, the Challenger 3500’s Nuage seats have different proportions than the seats found on the larger BD-700-2A12-based Global 7500. That seat, which is installed “on a floating base,” has features such as a tilt-link system that is patented and which “dips the rear of the seat pan below the hips as the back reclines.” Specifically, the airframe manufacturer describes the tilt-link system as providing a “zero-gravity position” that allows for a “neutral body posture to reduce pressure on the lower back,” while also allowing for a more even distribution of weight that has both comfort and circulation benefits. Other technological improvements incorporated into the Challenger 3500’s cabin—some of which represent the first use in either business aviation or on a super-midsize class airplane—include voice-control and wireless chargers, the latter of which are located “throughout the cabin” and which represent the first time such technology has been used in this class of business jet. The ability to utilize voice-control to manage different aspects of the cabin—such as the entertainment, lighting and temperature, as well as “access[ing]” flight information in real time—is able to function even when an internet connection is not available, and the incorporation of that technology into the Challenger 3500 represents “the industry’s first voice-controlled cabin.” Another only-in-class feature is the 4K display that measures 24 in.— an increase in the size of the display in comparison to the Challenger 350—while the utilization of haptic touch technology for the cabin control switches is described as being another first in business jets.  

Other aspects of the cabin that represent improvements in comparison to other in-class airplanes include the cabin width and noise level, in addition to the speed of the air-circulation system. Beyond the fact that the width of the Challenger 3500’s cabin bests other in-class airframes, the 4,850-ft. cabin altitude at 41,000 ft. is also marketed as being among the “lowest in its class,” while improving on the same figure for the Challenger 350 by 31%. The speed of the fresh air delivery system is also described as being superior to other in-class airplanes, a system that “replenish[es] cabin air with fresh air in less than two minutes.” According to Bombardier, the presence of an “advanced sound-insulating design” allows the cabin to be the quietest among in-class airplanes, a benefit for comfort, passenger productivity and stress. Although the cabin noise level is noted as being kept to a minimum, the Challenger 3500’s “sound experience” is described as featuring a “sweet-spot audio feature” that is adjustable. The productivity of the Challenger 3500’s passengers is further improved through the ability to connect “phone, tablet and other electronic devices to the cabin,” allowing for media to be “mirrored on the cabin display,” as well as for the streaming of “audio and visual content.” As is available on the Challenger 350, entertainment and productivity can also be enhanced through 4G ATG and Ka-band internet that are “available.”

Despite incorporating several improvements in comparison to cabin of the Challenger 350, the dimensions of the Challenger 3500’s cabin—height, length and width—are the same as the prior commercial designation of the BD-100 type, as is the certified maximum passenger capacity. Also retained is the ability to accommodate as many as 10 passengers in seating arrangements that are flexible, with that seating described as being executive seating that is in a club configuration. As is also available for the Challenger 350, another seating option is a three-place divan which has “berthing capability.” Also part of the standard interior configuration is a galley that is located in the forward portion of the cabin and which is promoted for the space it provides. Among the possible galley features are a wine chiller compartment, ice drawer that is two tiered, crystal storage that is transparent and a high-temperature oven or microwave, with “support” also provided for “off-the-shelf coffee/espresso machine[s].” The Challenger 3500’s entrance retains space for a wardrobe to store the personal items of crew and passengers, as well as an entry door, cockpit closeout curtains and a sliding door that divides the entrance from the main area of the cabin. Further storage space in the form of “quick-access seat storage compartments” are part of the standard configuration, as are side tables that are concealable and common to both the Challenger 350 and 3500. In the aft portion updated airframe’s cabin is a lavatory that is described as having the same outfitting as the Challenger 350 (a mirror which is backlit, as well as a faucet, sink, and vanity).

Supplementing the improvements that were made to the Challenger 3500’s cabin, Bombardier also promotes the sustainability of several of the optional materials used in the cabin, materials that include “alternative wood options” that are “rapidly renewable,” fabrics that are upcycled and other materials that are “natural fiber based” and sourced “more locally.”

Avionics and Flight-Control System

Both the Challenger 300 and Challenger 350 feature the same avionics system—Collins Aerospace’s Pro Line 21 integrated avionics system—with the latter airframe featuring advanced version of that system. The Challenger 300’s Pro Line 21 installation features four portrait-oriented 12 X 10-in. active matrix liquid crystal displays (LCD), with the outer pair of displays serving as primary flight displays (PFD) and the inner displays showing engine indication and crew-alerting system (EICAS) and navigation information. Additional information that can be shown on those displays includes electronic checklists and system diagrams.

The Pro Line 21 Advanced that is installed on both the Challenger 350 and 3500 also includes four large displays, as well as dual flight management systems that enable the airplane to perform localizer performance with vertical guidance (LPV) and required navigational performance (RNP) approaches. Other avionics hardware for the Challenger 350 and 3500 includes dual GPS and inertial reference systems (IRS)—the former of which enables the utilization of satellite-based augmentation systems (SBAS) such as the wide area augmentation system (WAAS)—MultiScan weather radar and a synthetic vision system (SVS). Available to supplement those baseline features are options such as a head-up display (HUD) that has an enhanced vision system (EVS). Announced as an option for the Challenger 350 in July 2018, the Collins Aerospace HUD is described as being lightweight and particularly beneficial during takeoff and landing. Additionally, the combination of the HUD and EVS has benefits in low-visibility conditions and improves the situational awareness of the airplane’s pilots. At the time it was announced as an option for the Challenger 350, it was noted that the EVS camera provides live infrared imagery “from outside of the aircraft to the HUD,” showing pilots “possible obstacles on the runway,” the runway lights and the “surrounding terrain.”

Although the Challenger 350 incorporates an advanced version of the Pro Line 21 avionics, that version of the BD-100-1A10 retains the flight control system found on the first-generation Challenger 300. Flight-envelope protection specific to aerodynamic stalls is provided by stick shakers and stick pushers that operate “as a function of angle of attack [AOA] [and] AOA rate, flap position, lateral acceleration and Mach number.”

One change made to the Challenger 3500’s avionics and flight-control system is an autothrottle system that is now a standard feature, while an “eco app”—SITA-provided eWAS Pilot with OptiFlight—represents another first for the business aviation market, according to the airframe manufacturer. Through the use of that app, pilots have the ability to “optimize their flight profiles,” the benefits of which include reduced carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, fuel efficiency that is “maximiz[ed]” and situational awareness that is enhanced, improvements that allow for operations that are more comfortable, efficient and safe. Bombardier also states that the EVS camera installed on the Challenger 3500 is Collins Aerospace’s EVS-3600, the same camera that is also installed on the company’s Global 7500.

Mission and Performance

When the Challenger 300 was initially certified, it was positioned in between the Learjet series and the Challenger 604 in Bombardier’s product line. With the cessation of Learjet 75 Liberty production—which the company announced on Feb. 11, 2021, alongside its 2020 financial results—the Challenger 350 and 3500 now represent Bombardier’s smallest business jets. Competing airframes include Embraer Praetor 500 and Gulfstream’s G280, with the specific comparisons noted below.

Comparison: Challenger 3500 and Competing Airframes

Manufacturer

Bombardier

Embraer

Gulfstream

Commercial Designation

Challenger 3500

Praetor 600

G280

Maximum Capacity

16

12

19

Range (nm)

3,400

4,018

3,600

Engines (2x)

Honeywell

HTF7350

HTF7500E

HTF7250G

Maximum Takeoff Weight (MTOW)(lb.)

40,600

42,858

39,600

Maximum Landing Weight (lb.)

34,150

37,479

32,700

Wingspan

69 ft.

70 ft. 6 in.

63 ft.

Length

68 ft. 8 in.

68 ft. 1 in.

66 ft. 10 in.

Height

20 ft.

21 ft.

21 ft. 4 in.

         

Regardless of the commercial designation, the operating limitations of the BD-100-1A10 type include a maximum operating limit speed (MMO) of 0.83 Mach above 29,475 ft., as well as a maximum operating altitudes of 45,000 ft. while en route and 10,000 ft. for takeoff and landing. In addition to those certified altitudes, the initial cruise altitude at the airframe’s maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) is 43,000 ft., while the high-speed and typical cruise speeds are 0.82 Mach and 0.80 Mach, respectively. According to Bombardier, the Challenger 350 and 3500 are capable of a takeoff distance—based on the MTOW, sea-level altitude and standard conditions—of 4,835 ft. At a typical landing weight—as well as at sea-level altitude and in standard conditions—those commercial designations of the type are capable of a landing distance of 2,364 ft. The Challenger 300 has a 3,100-nm range, while the Challenger 350—when carrying eight passengers and two crew, National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) instrument flight rules (IFR) reserves and operating in standard conditions and at the typical cruise speed—has a theoretical maximum range of 3,200 nm. The 3,200-nm full-fuel range was changed to “align [the Challenger 3500’s range] with the industry standard,” with that airframe’s 3,400-nm theoretical maximum range assuming NBAA IFR reserves, a takeoff temperature of 15C (59F), operating at 0.77 Mach and while carrying four passengers and two crew.

Beyond its published performance figures, Bombardier also promotes the Challenger 3500 for its “field performance and” ability to perform steep approaches, capabilities that the manufacturer says enable it to utilize operationally challenging airports such as “Aspen, [Colorado], London City and Lugano, [Switzerland].”

Variants

Challenger 300/350/3500 Specifications

Type Designation

BD-100-1A10

Commercial Designation

Challenger 300

Challenger 350

Challenger 3500

Maximum Passenger Capacity

16

Range (nm)

3,100

3,200

3,400

Engines (2x)

Honeywell

AS907-1-1A (HTF7000)

AS907-2-1A (HTF7350)

Maximum Takeoff Weight (MTOW)(lb.)

38,500/38,850

40,600

Maximum Landing Weight (lb.)

33,750

34,150

Wingspan

63.8

69 ft.

Wing Area

523 ft.2

Length

68 ft. 8 in.

Height

20 ft.

Honeywell Engines

Other specifications that differ between the commercial designations of the BD-100-1A10 type include the maximum weights, as well as the variant and amount of thrust produced by the Honeywell engines. The pair of HTF7000 turbofan engines (AS907-1-1A) that power the Challenger 300 can produce 6,826 lb. of thrust, with that airframe being the first powered by AS907 engines. The Challenger 350 and 3500’s HTF7350 turbofan engines (AS907-2-1A) increase the amount of thrust to 7,323 lb., an amount of thrust that Bombardier notes as being flat-rated to 15 deg. above standard. Engine manufacturer Honeywell promotes the “key benefits” of HTF7000 series as including durability and reliability, improved dispatchability and fuel efficiency, and reduced maintenance costs and noise signatures. At the time that the Challenger 350 was certified, Bombardier stated that the HTF7350 engines also produced a lower amount of emissions “under certain operating conditions.”

According to the FAA type certificate data sheet (TCDS) for both variants of the AS907 engine, it is a turbofan engine that incorporates an annular combustor and a single-stage fan. The axial high-compressor compressor has four stages and the centrifugal high-pressure compressor has a single stage, while the high- and low-pressure turbines have two and three stages, respectively. Controlling both the fuel and power management of the AS907-1-1A and AS907-2-1A is a full authority digital engine control (FADEC) system that has “dual electronic control in the form of two electronic control units (ECU).”

Challenger 300 and 350 Designs

Similar to the distinctions in the thrust produced by the Honeywell engines, the MTOW of the Challenger 300 is lower—at either 38,500 lb. or 38,850 lb.—than that of the Challenger 350 and 3500, with the latter versions of the airframe increasing that limitation to 40,600 lb. Beyond that certified weight limitation, Bombardier states that the Challenger 350 and 3500 have basic operating weights of 24,800 lb. and maximum payloads of 3,400 lb. The FAA TCDS for the BD-100-1A10 states that the total usable fuel capacity for the type is 2,096 gal. (14,150 lb.), with that fuel contained in a pair—left and right—of wet-wing tanks that can be filled through “single-point pressure refueling.”

From a design perspective, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) TCDS states that the BD-100-1A10 has a “low, high-swept airfoil,” and a T-tail that has a horizontal stabilizer that is “trimmable.” Also according to that document, the exterior height and length of the Challenger 300 and Challenger 350 are identical, while the latter’s wingspan is increased by 5.2 ft. through the addition of canted winglets. Beyond increasing the airframe’s wingspan, those winglets—which are “all-composite structures”—reduce transonic drag because of their “less acute angle.” The increase in wingspan also increases in the wing’s aspect ratio and area, which results in performance benefits that include the airframe’s ability to “climb higher and cruise more efficiently,” despite the fact that the Challenger 350 is certified to higher maximum weights.

In spite of those differences between the wings of the Challenger 300 and 350, the main wing of the former airframe was retained by the latter “with few changes.” The Challenger 350’s trailing-edge wing devices are single-slotted Fowler flaps that have four positions, and which are “actuated by a central hydraulic motor driving flex shaft and jack screws.” Located on the top of the Challenger 350’s wings are four fly-by-wire (FBW) multifunction spoiler panels that are hydraulically actuated, with the two outer panels utilized to “augment roll-control authority and [as] multi-position speed brakes,” and all four panels serving as “ground lift-dump spoilers” when the airframe’s weight is on the landing gear.

Beyond providing thrust, bleed air from the Honeywell engines is also used by a number of the Challenger 350’s systems, such as cabin pressurization and engine nacelle inlet/wing leading-edge anti-ice. Conversely, the air-data and AOA probes, as well as the cockpit side windows and windshields, do not use engine bleed air, but rather direct-current (DC) electrical heaters to protect from ice.

Challenger 3500 Sustainability

Supplementing the sustainable cabin material options and the eco app that increases the efficiency of Challenger 3500 operations, the sustainability of the airframe’s flight-test program and production—as well as its ability to use sustainable aviation fuel (SAF)—are promoted by the airframe manufacturer. Described as being “the most sustainably designed business jet in its class,” the program’s sustainability extends to the manufacturing of the airplane, which takes place at Bombardier facilities in Canada that are “largely powered by hydroelectricity,” resulting in fewer CO2 emissions. With regard to the airframe’s ability to utilize SAF, the company states that this commercial designation of the BD-100 type is able to “operate safely at [its] highest performance” when utilizing that type of fuel. Furthermore, the Challenger 3500’s flight-test program is described as being business aviation’s first to be entirely “carbon neutral,” with the program utilizing “book-and-claim SAF purchases” in support of that goal. Although those purchases “remove” a portion of the carbon emissions emitted during the test flights, the rest of the emissions from the fuel used during the flight-test program are “balance[d]” and the program achieves “carbon neutrality by retiring offsets.”

Following the Global 7500, the Challenger 3500 was the second Bombardier airframe to obtain an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD), and the first in its segment to do so. Defined as a “declaration of the aircraft’s life cycle environmental footprint,” the EPD “provides transparency” and quantifies the “environmental impact.” It was announced on May 20, 2022, that Bombardier released the Challenger 3500’s EPD, with the company also stating at that time that it was the only manufacturer in the business aviation marketplace to “hold EPDs.”

Program Status

Production of the Challenger 300, 350 and 3500 takes place at Bombardier’s facilities located at Montreal-Trudeau International Airport. In addition to the prototype airframe that made the type’s first flight in 2001, the Challenger 300 program utilized four other flight-test airframes as part of its test program, with the fifth of those airplanes flying for the first time in March 2003. At the time that Bombardier launched the first improved version of the BD-100-1A10 type in 2013, it was also announced that NetJets would be the launch customer, with firm orders for 75 airframes and options for a further 125.

References

  • AWIN Article Archives
  • Bombardier, Embraer, Gulfstream and Honeywell Commercial Materials
  • ANAC TCDS (EMB-550)
  • EASA TCDS (BD-100)
  • FAA TCDS (AS907, BD-100)
  • Transport Canada TCDS (BD-100)

Channel
Business Aviation
Market Indicator Code
Business
Category
Article page size
10
Profile page size
2
Program Profile ID
10105