Bombardier Highlights Challenger 3500 At NBAA-BACE

Credit: Molly McMillin/ShowNews

Bombardier kicked off NBAA-BACE with the announcement of the launch customer for the Challenger 3500 at a press conference during the convention. It is the recently introduced upgrade to the Challenger 350 with a new redesigned interior. 

The company announced the 3500 at a recent special event at its Montreal facility.

The Challenger 3500 business jet’s redesigned interior includes Nuage seating, voice-controlled cabin, wireless chargers and 24-in., 4K displays. Customers also have an option of selecting sustainable materials for the cabin’s interior furnishings. The Challenger 3500 is expected to enter service in the second half of 2022. 

The launch customer is Les Goldberg, Entertainment Technology Partners chairman and CEO. Goldberg is a longtime Bombardier customer, with a Challenger 350. 

“I’m overjoyed to be the launch customer for the Challenger 3500 aircraft,” says Goldberg. “Reliability is the most important thing to consider when buying an aircraft, and I know the new Challenger will allow me to travel the world to run my business. I’m looking forward to all the improvements that they’ve done to make the plane exceptional.”  

Bombardier announced in late September that it received a firm order for 20 Challenger 3500s valued at $534 million at list prices from an undisclosed customer, its largest order in 2021. 

Bombardier is showcasing a Bombardier 3500 mockup at its static display at Henderson Executive Airport. 

Bombardier is well positioned to compete in a rising market and against new competition, Eric Martel, Bombardier president and CEO, said during a press conference at NBAA-BACE on Oct. 11. 

On Oct. 4, Gulfstream announced the new G800 ultra-long-range business jet and the G400 large-cabin jet, products that will compete with Bombardier’s Global 7500 and Challenger 650. 

Martel, in answer to a media question, says the company feels strongly about its offerings and how it matches up against Gulfstream’s products. 

For Bombardier’s flagship Global 7500, customer feedback has been positive. 

“We are continuously talking to our customers,” Martel says. The market is seeking an extra long-range aircraft—the Global 7500 has a range of 7,700 nm with four cabin zones to accommodate crew rest and passengers. 

The company has delivered nearly 80 Global 7500s, he says. “The airplane is behaving extremely well.” 

Bombardier will continue to monitor customer desires, he says. 

The Challenger 650, meanwhile, costs about $10 million less than the competition and has lower operating costs, Martel says. Plus, the business jet cabin sells airplanes. It is the most important feature. 

“The principal—the guy that writes the check—is going to take a look at the cabin,” he says. 

Molly McMillin

Molly McMillin, a 25-year aviation journalist, is managing editor of business aviation for the Aviation Week Network and editor-in-chief of The Weekly of Business Aviation, an Aviation Week market intelligence report.