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Nextant secures US approval for 604XT Fusion upgrade

Nextant Aerospace has secured US supplemental type certification (STC) for its Rockwell Collins Pro Line Fusion upgrade to the Bombardier Challenger 604.

The approval marks the completion of phase one of Nextant's modernisation programme for the large-cabin legacy business jet, and the company says it remains on track to deliver the first upgraded aircraft, branded the 604XT, in early December.

Improvements over the original Pro Line 4 cockpit include three large-format displays, touch-interactive maps with eyes-forward flight planning, synthetic vision, high-resolution topography and real-time onboard weather radar overlays.

Pro Line Fusion also meets automatic dependent surveillance – broadcast (ADS-B) Out requirements, which will become compulsory in the USA from 1 January 2020.

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Nextant Aerospace

Mark O’Donnell, executive vice-president for the Cleveland, Ohio-based company, describes the response to the upgrade as "phenomenal", with more than 25 installations already pre-sold. "We have three aircraft in house ready for installation, plus seven more scheduled before year-end," he says. Flight Fleets Analyzer records a global in-service fleet of over 300 Challenger 604s.

Phase two of the 604XT modernisation programme is now under way and includes a redesigned cabin and aerodynamic enhancements to deliver a 500nm (925nm) range improvement, to over 4,500nm.

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Nextant Aerospace

The 604XT is part of Nextant's four-strong family of remanufactured business aircraft. The line-up also consists of the G90XT – an upgrade of the Beechcraft King Air C90 twin-engined turboprop – and the 400XTi and 400XTe – remanufactured versions of the Hawker 400A/XP light business jet. The latter was launched in October as a baseline variant of the XTi, and is scheduled to obtain its STC in 2019.

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