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The Challenger 600 is a large, or heavy, charter jet which can carry up to 19 passengers. This aircraft is manufactured by Bombardier, can travel at a cruise speed of 425 kts and has a maximum range of 2800 square meters.
The Challenger 600 was designed by Bill Lear in 1976 and was originally named LearStar 600. This aircraft is very similar to other designs by Lear, but there is one significant difference which is a wider fuselage. This feature allowed for a cabin in which passengers could walk around, thus adding another element of luxury. In fact, at that time no other business aircraft had a walk-about cabin.
When the exclusive production rights of the LearStar 600 were sold to Canadair, the jet series was renamed the CL-600 Challenger. Just two years later, the first prototype CL-600 Challenger took off from an airport in Montreal. The following year saw two more prototypes taxi down a runway. The Challenger was certified by Transport Canada as well as by the Federal Aviation Administration of the United States in 1980 and the certification came with a program to reduce the weight of the jet and improve its range. Although Bombardier Aerospace bought the Challenger series from Canadair in 1986, it retained its name and has proved to be a trustworthy business aircraft.
There are several models in the Challenger 600 series. The original CL-600 was built until 1983 when it was replaced by the CL-601 line which boasted higher flat ratings as well as a glass cockpit. The CL-604 was a huge upgrade of the 601 models as its engines were more powerful, it had a larger fuel supply, and had a higher weight capacity for takeoff and landing. In 2006, the CL-605 was introduced with improvements to the structure and avionics of the aircraft.
The interior of a Challenger 600 is quite impressive. The cabin has a height of a little over six feet, a width of over eight feet, and is more than 28 feet long. There is also an on-board lavatory which not all charter jets can provide. The seating can be configured in a few different ways in order to fit the needs of the client. This large cabin jet has also won praise for its low noise and vibration levels.
But it is not only the interior of a Challenger 600 that is impressive. Each Challenger can fly at an altitude of 39,000 feet which is much higher than any commercial aircraft can fly, and can cross the United States without having to stop to refuel. All of these features, as well as several others, make a Challenger 600 a private jet that has practically the same capabilities as a commercial aircraft, but at a much lower cost. In addition to all this, there is the fact that chartering a Challenger 600 can drastically cut down on travel time, which is what makes this private jet series so appealing and successful.