This year's NBAA in Orlando occurs on the eve of the Challenger 600's 40th anniversary. This photo montage celebrates the Canadair and Bombardier business jet's first four decades, which began with its maiden flight on 8 November 1978. For all the latest NBAA coverage check out our dedicated event page

TAG Challenger

DISTRIBUTOR: TAG was an early partner, securing Middle East sales

Stan Kingsley-Jones

Canadian Air Force Challenger

MILITARY: Canadian Forces took original 600 variant

Canadian Air Force

Challenger 610E

EXTENDED: Challenger 610E was false start but led to CRJ series

FlightGlobal archive

Challenger CF34 engine

ENGINE: 601 launch with CF34 power triggered sales boom

FlightGlobal archive

Challenger 604 500th

500 UP: Key milestone was reached in May 2000 with 601

FlightGlobal archive

Thai Airways Challenger 601

CIVIL SERVICE: 601 resplendent in Thai Airways colours in 1990s

FlightGlobal archive

Challenger 604

POPULAR: 604 arrived in 1995 and has been the biggest seller so far


Challenger cabin

CABIN FEVER: Interior space and comfort has evolved greatly

Duncan Aviation


UPGRADE: 605 brought more improvements from 2007


Challenger swiss air rescue

AMBULANCE: Swiss Air Rescue Rega flies latest and greatest 650

FlightGlobal archive

Challenger front cover

Challenger front cover

COVER STAR: Brochures and Flight editions from 1970s and 1980s

Challenger cockpit

Challenger cockpit

CONTROL ROOM: Cockpit has gradually evolved with early EFIS (left) succeeded by Pro Line 4, and advanced Pro Line 21 arriving with 605 (right)

FlightGlobal archive/JetsUSA