F & R Testing Begins As Type Approval Draws Closer
The fifth aircraft in Bombardier Aerospace’s
Challenger 300™ certification program, equipped with a fully
functional interior, successfully completed its first flight
earlier this month in Wichita (KS).
Aircraft S/N 20-005 will now begin a comprehensive
functional and reliability (F&R) test program. This fifth
aircraft – featuring the most advanced production interior in
any corporate jet F&R test program – will validate the
integrity and functionality of all cabin systems including water
and waste management, lighting, environmental controls, cabin
electronics and entertainment systems and ergonomics.
It is expected to complete F&R testing this spring. The
interior certification is scheduled to follow aircraft type
approval, clearing the way for the first group of the super-midsize
business jets to enter service later this year.
“F&R testing overlaps with the very end of the flight
test and ground test programs,” said Dave Schenck,
vice-president of development aircraft programs.
“Bombardier’s significant investments in the advanced
planning of this aircraft’s interior are now paying off; as
we are able to simultaneously build aircraft and conduct F&R
“Our objective – and we are on target with this
– is to develop a production interior alongside a production
aircraft. This way, both traditional operators and Flexjet
fractional owners will immediately benefit from a mature aircraft
offering superior value, reliability and the most functional,
best-equipped cabin in its class,” said Schenck.
Featuring all of the latest inputs from both the airframe
certification and the interior completions programs, s/n 20-005 was
passed on to flight test for an intensive set of inspections and
ground runs. Ready for flight in the late afternoon, the aircraft
took off from the Bombardier Learjet facilities at Wichita’s
Mid-Continent Airport at 16:56 for a one hour and 15 minute flight,
returning only as the sun set.
The Bombardier flight test crew declared the flight uneventful,
a trend that started with the first test aircraft and has continued
since. Bombardier test pilot Tom Maurer reported that the aircraft
performed as expected and that testing of the systems was completed
to the production standard. Production test pilot Mike Morris
stated, “in my six years of flight testing aircraft off the
production line, this is the cleanest first flight I’ve ever
had, with any production aircraft. Whether up front in the cockpit
or a passenger in the back, this is a real user-friendly jet,
complete with an interior that offer a new standard in cabin
comfort and reliability.”
“Customers are going to like this aircraft,” Maurer
predicted. Maurer also piloted the first flight of the fourth test
Bombardier’s completion specialists in Tucson have worked
with its key supplier, DeCrane, to develop, design and build an
interior that would set the standard in the super-midsize class.
Aircraft #20-005 features a single-compartment, optional divan
configuration capable of seating eight passengers. A well-equipped
galley is located fore and a large lavatory is located aft of the
seating area. The cabin measures 28 feet, six inches (8.7 m) from
the cockpit divider to the pressure bulkhead. It offers seven feet,
two inches (2.2 m) of widebody comfort and six feet, one inch (1.85
m) in cabin height. Total useable cabin volume is 860 cubic feet
The eight-passenger main compartment is completed in a soft
palette of earth hues.
The carpet is a three-color blend of brown wool yarns. Cabinetry is
finished in a warm, medium-toned veneer and the leather seats are a
sandy tan. The divan is covered in a smooth chenille fabric with a
subtle tone-on-tone pattern. With the light oyster headliner, these
materials create a bright, warm and inviting cabin. All the club
seats feature workstations, with folding, pull-out tables and 120V
outlets for computer hook-up.
The cabin electronics system features a CD/DVD player and audio
system, two 18” monitors mounted in the cabin featuring
Airshow 400, as well as a four-channel SATCOM system with two
handsets and fax/data ports for voice/data communications.
Forward of the main cabin, the galley offers a complete
refreshment/service area featuring a microwave oven, a
coffee-maker, an ice drawer with overboard drain, two cup
dispensers, and two heated liquid containers. In addition, various
compartments offer additional storage space, as well as a lighted
A fully functional lavatory and luggage storage is located aft
of the main compartment.
The lavatory features a dramatic acrylic-fronted basin with modern
faucet and soap dispenser fixtures beneath a backlit circular
mirror. The vanity cabinet provides ample storage room for linens
and accessories. Adjacent to the lavatory is a large luggage
compartment offering 106 cubic feet (31.8 m3) of total usable area
– all located before the pressure bulkhead, offering
passengers in-flight access to their luggage.
The Bombardier Challenger 300 – formerly known as the
Bombardier Continental – provides a cost-effective step-up
for current light jet operators as well as for operators
constrained by their current midsize aircraft. Bombardier says the
Challenger 300 offers true transcontinental range and superior
long-range cruise speed, combined with a full eight-passenger and
operating costs equivalent to or better than current midsize