Bombardier Unveils the Challenger 3500

The Challenger 3500 takes up the reins from the popular Challenger 300 series from Bombardier as it focuses on the super midsize segment. Bombardier

Bombardier unveiled its Challenger 3500, a new super midsize jet that’s projected to enter service in the second half of 2022.

“We simply couldn’t contain our excitement ahead of the [National Business Aviation Association] event in Las Vegas,” said Bombardier President and CEO Éric Martel in a livestream debuting the new platform on Tuesday.

The Challenger 3500 builds on the popular Challenger 300 series aircraft, of which the company has delivered roughly 900 units in the past 20 years. The new model will carry a list price of $26.7 million.

The new 3500 takes several key technologies from the Global 7500 and its brethren, including a flight with more “baseline features” than others in the class. The 3500 will come equipped with an autothrottle, plus all capabilities currently found up front in the Challenger 350, according to Martel.

A look at some of the interior of the Challenger 3500. Bombardier

Those features include:

  • Available head-up display (HUD) with enhanced vision system (EVS)
  • Advanced avionics suite with four large displays
  • Dual flight management system with LPV and RNP approach capabilities
  • Synthetic vision system (SVS)
  • MultiScan weather radar
  • Dual inertial reference system (IRS)

In terms of performance, Bombardier expects the 3500 to cover 3,400 nm at Mach 0.77 carrying four passengers and two crew, which equates to readily flown segments between Los Angeles and New York, or London to Dubai. The jet will also come certified for steep approaches, such those at London City, Aspen, and Toluca, Mexico.

Powered by two Honeywell HTF7350 turbofans at 7,323 lbf, the 3500 will make a top speed of Mach 0.83, and carry a maximum of 10 passengers. Projected takeoff distance at sea level, MTOW, is 4,835 ft with a landing distance of 2,364 ft at sea level, ISA conditions.

What’s Inside

Carrying over from the 7500, as well: the Nuage seat, which features a different architecture from previous passenger seats in the class. The seat made its debut on the 7500, then went to the 5500 and 6500 before moving to the 3500. According to Martel, it’s the first time a seat of this caliber is available in the super midsize segment.

Adding to everyone’s comfort on board, the 3500 will maintain a cabin altitude of 4,850 ft at FL 410, an improvement of 31 percent over previous metrics.

Also found in the “intelligent cabin,” Martel outlined:

  • A “reimagined” lighting plan
  • Soft-close drawers, with crystal and wine storage
  • The first voice-controlled cabin for temperature, lighting, and entertainment
  • 24-inch 4K displays
  • Wireless charging in the cabin
  • Responsibly sourced fabrics and coverings
  • Quick air replacement within the cabin
The galley of the Bombardier 3500 Bombardier

Martel said the company took cues from owners and pilots in the development of the 3500. “Pilots who love to fly it—and corporate flight departments who can rely upon it,” he said, referring to the projected dispatch reliability of 99.8 percent. “We’ve reorganized our company around business aviation,” he continued, and the newly structured Bombardier has put its focus on the super midsize segment with sustainability in mind.

Martel indicated the 3500 would be “the most sustainably designed in its class.” He bases that upon its Environmental Product Declaration, which is the first among super midsize jets. The 7500 was the first business jet to obtain that declaration, and Bombardier is now committed to obtaining this designation for all of its aircraft moving forward.

Bombardier’s new models will be assembled in facilities driven by hydroelectric power. Plus, the company plans a “carbon-neutral test flight program” using sustainable aviation fuel and carbon offsets.

Bombardier aims for the 3500 to have the lowest direct operating cost (DOC) in its class, projecting that operators will save nearly $150,000 across five years. Part of this expectation is based on the implementation of the SmartLink Plus health monitoring system for operators to connect with the aircraft while flying to keep tabs on the aircraft’s parameters.

Coming Attractions

Les Goldberg, the 3500′s launch customer and founder of Entertainment Technology Partners, is making the jet his fifth aircraft.

“I can’t wait to fly the new bird next year,” he said.

A mockup of the aircraft will be on display at NBAA-BACE in Las Vegas in October.

Based in Maryland, Julie is an editor, aviation educator, and author. She holds an airline transport pilot certificate with Douglas DC-3 and CE510 (Citation Mustang) type ratings. She's a CFI/CFII since 1993, specializing in advanced aircraft and flight instructor development. Follow Julie on Twitter @julieinthesky.

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