Revamped business jet moves from Montreal to complete certification programme by the end of this year
Bombardier has relocated its first Challenger 605 to Wichita, Kansas to begin a 200h flight-test programme leading to certification of the updated large business jet in the fourth quarter.
Built on the same assembly line as the current Challenger 604, the aircraft completed a four-flight production test programme in Montreal, Canada before being flown to Bombardier’s flight-test centre in Wichita.
A second Challenger 605, with redesigned interior and new cabin management system, will join the flight-test programme in July. Scheduled to enter service in the third quarter of 2007, the aircraft will replace the 604 in production.
A major change from the 604 is the new Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 integrated flightdeck, developed from that in the super mid-size Challenger 300. “The basic idea was to model the cockpit on the 300, but to retain some of the 604 concepts so we can maintain a common type rating,” says Capt Frank Magnusson, senior engineering test pilot.
The aircraft is equipped with Collins’ integrated flight information system (IFIS), which provides electronic charts and graphical weather. “We used the electronic charts on the first flight,” says Magnusson. XM and Universal datalink weather was to be added last week.
Bombardier is aiming for increased commonality across the Challenger 300, 605 and the new Learjet 65XR, which will also have a Pro Line 21 flightdeck. “We do not have charts yet in the 300, but a test programme is going on now,” says Magnusson.
The 605 is the first Pro Line 21 application with a full-width, “coast-to-coast” attitude indicator on the 205 x 255mm (8 x 10in) primary flight display.
“We were not sure if we were going to like it, but it’s really nice,” says Magnusson.
Two test rigs are being used to wring out the 605’s avionics – one in Wichita and one at Collins in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. “We are doing a lot of rig testing to find things out on the ground,” says Magnusson. “As a result, the first software load was flightworthy out of the box, and we flew with the second version.”
Paperless-cockpit capability will be added to the 605 later in the test programme, Magnusson says, when side displays for the Collins Airshow 21 cabin management system are installed.
These will double as electronic flight bags and provide the dual redundancy required for paperless approval.
GRAHAM WARWICK / LOS ANGELES
Source: Flight International