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"BOMBARDIER INTRODUCES CHALLENGER 605; FIRST MAJOR REDO OF BEST-SELLING WIDEBODY SINCE 1996
Fred George, Business & Commercial Aviation, January 1, 2006
Cabin comfort means a lot in this class and no other purpose-built business jet has a wider cabin cross-section. The Challenger 604 also is the least expensive large-cabin business aircraft with 4,000 nm range and it has some of the lowest all-up direct operating costs.
The result is the Challenger 605, the fifth iteration of the original Challenger 600 that made its debut in 1979. The newest model retains the Challenger 604's basic airframe, airline-proven General Electric CF34-3B turbofans and systems. This blend assures the new model will approach the Challenger 604's claimed 99.8-percent dispatch rate and engine inflight shutdown rate of two events per million flight hours.
The Challenger 605 will weigh less than the Challenger 604, so it will be capable of carrying one more passenger with full tanks.
Its cockpit has been totally revamped and 15 previous Challenger 604 options have been made standard equipment aboard the new aircraft. The new cabin design features a wider usable cross-section, plus more headroom when seated.
Larger windows, mounted higher in the fuselage, provide significantly more ambient light. Cabin control and lighting systems have been brought up to date. There's a much larger galley, thereby affording passengers more food and beverage choices on long-range missions. The most obvious change to the Challenger 605 is a return to a conical tail cone instead of the Challenger 604's boat tail.
Pro Line 21 Avionics
The Challenger 604's Rockwell Collins Pro Line 4 cockpit, with its six 7.25-inch-square CRT displays, was considered state-of-the-art when the aircraft entered service, which is why B&CA featured the aircraft and cockpit in our September 1995 issue. Today's large-format LCD technology now makes that cockpit seem woefully antiquated.
The Challenger 605 will have a Pro Line 21 avionics suite that features four, 10- by-12-inch, portrait configuration, LCD screens that replace the 604's six-pack of CRTs. The new LCDs increase total display area by more than one-half, along with offering improved pixel resolution, color contrast and considerably greater reliability. The entire layout is a close relative of the Pro Line 21 cockpit in the Challenger 300.
Either XM WX Satellite Weather or Universal Weather and Aviation data-link services are optional. The XM package requires an additional satellite radio receiver. The weather graphics are geographically referenced so they can be overlaid on the MFD with the flight plan route. But XM only is available in the continental United States.
A right-side console cockpit touch-screen has been added to the Challenger 605's cockpit. This provides a backup display for a full Class 3 EFB e-chart capability aboard the baseline aircraft, plus it may be used to control Airshow 21 cabin entertainment, cabin systems and galley functions.
A single Thales three-in-one, solid-state LCD integrated standby instrument system, incorporating attitude indicator, air data displays, localizer and glideslope indicators, is mounted in the center of the panel. The ISIS replaces the trio of standby gauges found in 604 instrument panels. A single GPS clock, replacing the left- and right-side Davtron clocks, is mounted below the ISIS in the center of the panel. Again, fewer components mean less chance of individual part failure.
The standard avionics package includes dual FMS-6000 boxes, with full TSO C115b auto-pilot coupled, multiple waypoint VNAV, dual Honeywell LASEREF V IRUs, upgraded Rockwell Collins radio altimeter, dual comm/HF/nav/DME/ident radios, SELCAL, upgraded FDR and CVR, TCAS II, Honeywell E-GPWS and solid-state Doppler turbulence detection weather radar.
Also standard equipment is Safe Flight's autothrottle system, which has been a popular retrofit on the Challenger 604 fleet.
Options include data link weather, third FMS and LASEREF V, three-dimensional map graphics and upgraded map graphics with SUA and geopolitical boundaries, lightning detection system, pilot-side touch screen system and second radio altimeter.
Improved Cabin Experience
For over 25 years, Challengers have been known for their cabin comfort. The latest version takes the concept to the next higher level. Just aft of the cabin door, the right-side galley has been split into virtually symmetric forward and aft halves. The forward left section of the entryway is fitted with a wardrobe closet and storage pocket for the cabin door curtain.
There is a left-side bulkhead, just aft of the cabin door, where the curtain fastens to seal off the entryway. A pocket door, enclosed in the rear of the galley cabinets, can be closed to separate the crew and passenger compartments. All the cabinet surfaces have relatively large-radius corners, giving the cabin a "soft edge" bulkhead quality, according to Bombardier.
The new layout provides substantially more counter space for food and beverage service preparation. There is more cabinet space for food, beverages and service items. A touch-screen control panel at the top of the aft section provides IP-based Airshow 21 control of cabin entertainment, temperature, lighting and audiovisual systems. This is a single-channel, fail-safe system with local control backup. It's not the same as the dual-channel, fail-operational, Airshow 21 cabin control architecture of the Global 5000.
The main seating area seems much brighter and airier than that in previous Challengers. That's because new 10-by-16-inch cabin windows have been fitted to the aircraft and Global 5000-style wide-angle window reveals are built into the interior side panels. The combination allows considerably more ambient light into the cabin.
The windows also are mounted 2.5 inches higher on the fuselage. The change, in combination with the new window reveals, allows standing and seated passengers to see outside without having to bend down.
Usable cabin width is increased by 1.1 inches because of redesigned cabin sidewalls. When extended, the fold-out work tables now are flush with the sidewall panels, thereby significantly increasing the total available work surface. The new tables are more robust, less likely to bend down or twist under load.
When seated, passengers aboard the Challenger 605 will enjoy two inches more headroom. This results from fitting the cabin with low-profile passenger service unit panels. The change also makes it less likely that passengers' heads will brush up against the PSUs when getting into or out of the seats. And the new low-profile design doesn't block the view out of the cabin windows for standing passengers.
Gone are those trouble-prone fluorescent wash lights and hot incandescent bulb reading lights; all have been replaced with contemporary-standard, LED fixtures. The change both reduces power consumption and extends MTBF to 10,000-plus hours. It is a major reason why the Challenger 605 should have even better dispatch reliability than previous Challengers.
. Three standard, two-section cabin seating layouts are available. The most popular is expected to be a four-seat club section in front, with a three-place divan in the right rear section of the cabin, flanked by two facing chairs on the left side.
A second floor-plan features the forward, four-seat club section with the three-seat divan in right rear section and a four-seat conference table section on the left side. The third layout plan is similar to the first, but the seating area is made shorter to accommodate a Global 5000-style, extended length lavatory with left- and right-side windows.
The standard Airshow 21 entertainment system includes front and rear, 18-inch bulkhead-mounted, flat-panel monitors with integral moving map and air data display system. There's a dual DVD/CD player up front in the wardrobe closet and the cabin is equipped with a high fidelity stereo sound system featuring multiple speakers and dual subwoofers. The cabin PA system uses a separate amplifier and speaker system.
Cabin options include an upgraded airborne office equipment system, Direct TV, multichannel A/V on-demand library, 21-inch bulkhead monitors, individual passenger video monitors and provisions for external A/V equipment, along with external videocams. Red/green/blue LED mood lighting for the overhead wash light system is available. The A/V equipment may be relocated from the left-hand, forward wardrobe cabinet to a cabin cabinet between the seating sections.
Multichannel Inmarsat satcom, Swift64 satcom data link and optional WiFi LAN are available at extra cost. The Swift64 system will accommodate an upgrade to SwiftBroadband when it becomes available.
Better Range/Payload Flexibility
Bombardier advertised the original Challenger 604 as an aircraft capable of carrying five passengers with full fuel. But buyers loaded up their aircraft with at least 200 pounds of options, so most Model 604 aircraft could carry no more than four passengers with full tanks.
The Challenger 605, in contrast, has a higher level of standard equipment and lighter weight components. This will again provide the Challenger with a full-tanks, five passenger capability -- assuming base equipment. However, multichannel satcom, Direct TV, office equipment, avionics and galley options are more popular with large-cabin aircraft buyers than ever before, so there's no guarantee that typically equipped Challenger 605s will carry more than four passengers on the longest range missions.
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