The Challenger 350 has been a staple of the Bombardier range and in wake of new competition, there is now an upgraded version with an extended name. Called as Challenger 3500, this mid-size aircraft comes with a raft of new features including a nod towards sustainable luxury. This is a core market for Bombardier and a lot of the features from the flagship 7500 jet has trickled down to the 3500. That includes its patented ‘Nuage’ seat which is named after the French word for ‘Cloud’, bringing a zero-gravity seating position for a reduction in lower back pressure. This is a feature normally reserved for bigger jets but for the first time, enters the mid-size segment and improves comfort.
Along with that, the 3500 brings about a drastic reduction in a cabin altitude of 4,850 ft at 41,000 ft. The interior too has been overhauled with a minimalistic yet luxurious cabin with haptic touch displays all over and less clutter. Plus with a largely voice-controlled cabin to access the aircraft’s lighting, entertainment and temperature systems, you basically need not physically access the controls anymore. You will also see wireless chargers all around the cabin, soft-close drawers and a 24-inch 4K display. The cockpit also gets a new autothrottle system with more baseline features.
In terms of reducing the jet’s environmental impact, the cabin is finished with sustainable materials while there is a new ‘Eco app’ where fuel usage and flight plans are optimized for lowering emissions along with costs. Even the test flights are carbon-neutral while running on sustainable aviation fuel.
Overall, the Challenger 3500 is a massive leap forward in terms of onboard luxuries along with keeping up with COVID induced design practices with less of a need to ‘touch’ any control of the cabin. It remains a spacious (for up to 10 passengers) and luxurious mid-size business jet with more trappings while the range of 3,400 nm enables long haul flights with full fuel and seats. Crucially, the jet can also operate at airports with steep approaches.
Expect the Challenger 3500 to enter into service sometime this year with a price tag of USD$26.7 million (AUD$37.3 million). The private aviation space is witnessing big demand and the mid-size business jet is attracting more and more customers hence, also increasing competition within this space. Bombardier has said it will focus on sustainability and bring in more features to lock horns with the Gulfstream G280 and the Embraer Praetor.
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