MONTREAL---Bombardier Aerospace has marked a major milestone with the recent delivery of the 500th Challenger widebody business jet.
The 500th Challenger, a model 604, rolled off the Dorval production line May 25 and is being prepared to enter service later this year. The first delivery of the original Challenger 600 occurred in December, 1980.
"The production of this 500th aircraft is a landmark event for the Challenger program and for the business aircraft industry as a whole,'' said Rob Gillespie, president, Bombardier Aerospace, Business Aircraft. "The Challenger has changed the face of business aviation - and helped to transform Bombardier into one of the world's leading aviation companies.''
For two decades, the Challenger has continuously set new standards for quality, productivity and value in business travel while capturing more than one third of the market for large business aircraft. The current production model - the Challenger 604 is the fifth evolution of the original Challenger and is proving to be the most popular yet.
"Since deliveries began in January 1996, the 604 has become the best selling aircraft in the history of the Challenger program as well as in the large jet category,'' Mr. Gillespie noted.
Since receiving Transport Canada type approval in August 1980, the Challenger has been sold to operators in more than 50 countries, and the fleet has amassed more than 1.7 million hours of operation with a dispatch reliability of 99.6 per cent.
It has also helped spawn several new businesses for Bombardier Aerospace including interior aircraft completion, pilot training, aircraft servicing and Flexjet fractional ownership.
The Challenger program formed the basis for the pioneering and highly successful 50-passenger Canadair Regional Jet (CRJ) airliner which, in just a decade, has transformed the commercial airline industry by offering superior performance, range and economics. As of June 1, 2000, a total of 397 CRJ airliners have been delivered.
Bombardier Aerospace, a unit of Bombardier Inc., is the leading business, regional and amphibious aircraft manufacturer. With full design and production capabilities in three countries, it offers the most comprehensive families of turboprop and regional jet aircraft and the widest range of business jets. It also provides the Flexjet fractional business aircraft ownership program, technical services, aircraft maintenance and pilot training for business, regional airline and military customers.
Bombardier Aerospace Delivers 500th Challenger Business Jet