Bombardier’s Challenger 300 Midsize Trans-Continental Business Jet (originally known as the Continental Business Jet) was launched in 1999 and left Mother Earth for the first time in August 2001 from Wichita, Kansas. She received certification from Transport Canada, the US FAA and the European JAA in 2003 and entered service in January 2004. Due to its great performance and relatively low operating cost, the Challenger 300 does the job of many larger business jets more economically and offers just as much comfort. It has a range of up to 3,100NM and in many mission instances larger aircraft with greater range would also require a technical stop. For example, on a trip from Cape Town to London (5,400NM), few aircraft would not require a technical stop and therefore there would be little advantage gained by operating a more costly machine. Bearing testimony to the Challenger’s attributes is the fact that the 200th aircraft was delivered in July 2008.
The Challenger 300 has a conventional all-metal airframe, and winglets reduce lift-induced drag. It is a fine example of industrial cooperation, with Canadair responsible for building the forward section of the fuselage, including the cockpit and primary flight controls, and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries building the wings.
Bombardier Aerospace in Belfast is responsible for construction of the centre fuselage, the rear fuselage and tail are built by AIDC of Taiwan, while Hawker De Havilland Australia supplies the tail cone and the auxiliary power installation unit. The component sections are transported to the Bombardier Aerospace Montreal Dorval facility for final assembly.
Every facet of construction was achieved with input from all kinds of affected parties, from passengers and crew to engineers and operations personnel. The final product is suited to all of these parties with little compromise.
The business class cabin provides a working environment to corporate executive standards. The passenger cabin has an area of 13.28m2 and seats eight business passengers in double club seating. The cabin is fitted with tracked swivelling recliner seats each with a table, a power point and telephone point.
A baggage compartment at the rear of the cabin is accessible in flight. The cabin and baggage compartments are air conditioned and pressurised by the Liebherr Aerospace-Toulouse environmental control system. At the rear of the cabin are the passenger facilities. The cabin door is on the port side at the front.
- Double club with berthable seats
- Flat floor throughout
- Unrestricted in-flight access to baggage
- Inflight entertainment system
- Well-equipped galley
- Interior options now include a three-seater divan.
The aircraft is fitted with two Honeywell HTF7000 turbofan engines each capable of 35.81kN (8,050lbs) thrust. The engines are fitted with dual channel FADEC (Full Authority Digital Engine Control) and Hurel-Dubois thrust reversers. The HTF7000 is configured with four axial compressor stages, including two variable-geometry stators, a single centrifugal compressor, an effusion-cooled combustor, a two-stage high-pressure turbine and a three-stage low-pressure turbine driving a high-efficiency fan.
- Thermodynamic rating: 8,050lbs
- Thrust: 6,826lbs, flat-rated to ISA+15ºC (de-rated for longevity)
- Bypass ratio 4.2:1 (superior high altitude performance)
- Dual channel FADEC/trend monitoring (reduced pilot workload)
- On-condition maintenance (reduced maintenance costs)
The aircraft has a Honeywell 36-150BB auxiliary power unit for ground and alternate in-flight electrical power and pneumatic air supply for air conditioning and pressurisation. The DC electrical system operating at 28 volts includes three brushless generators. Two nickel cadmium batteries are used for ground power, for auxiliary power-unit starting, and for emergency power in flight. An engine bleed air-supplied anti-icing system is used for the leading edges of the wings and for the lips of the engines’ nacelles. Electrical de-icing is used for the windscreen and the pitot probes.
Flying the Challenger 300
As with all flights we begin with a notification that a flight is ‘in the system’. From this we get route and payload information and carry these details forward to our flight planning system. Performance calculations are made with reference to fuel, alternates, runway conditions, prevailing weather etc. Our cabin attendant is notified of the number of passengers, their dietary requirements and the number and duration of sectors to be flown. From this, he or she will plan and order the catering accordingly.
Acquisition and operating costs
A typical Challenger 300 will cost approximately $20 million, with used machines selling for $12 million upwards. Due to the demand for the Challenger 300 some late model aircraft have asking prices in excess of the new aircraft list price.
The following operating cost information was calculated using Conklin & de Decker’s Aircraft Cost Evaluator figures which are universally accepted as audited figures.
Written by Larry Beamish