The Challenger 601-3A long-range business jet has made leaps and bounds from the original Challenger 600. With better performing engines, greater range and increased reliability, the -3A variant offers plenty of desirable qualities in its class, even two decades later.
The -3A’s single greatest improvement is the General Electric CF24-3A high-bypass engines. Each engine is rated at a considerable 8,650 lbs of thrust at takeoff, while the inspection interval is 6,000 hours. As a result, the 601-3A is capable of traveling 3,290 nautical miles in one trip and at 0.85 Mach.
In addition to performance, Bombardier emphasized reliability when building the 601-3A. In the cockpit, you will find dual digital Honeywell DFZ-800 flight guidance, EDZ-800 EFIS, laser inertial reference and dual digital Collins HR 9000 communications systems. The Honeywell Primus 650 digital weather radar also assists in a reliable flight.
A few other notable refinements of the 601-3A include an all-glass cockpit, drag-reducing winglets and greater fuel capacity, all contributing to the jet’s transoceanic range. An additional tailcone fuel tank comes standard with the -3A/ER variant, adding even more range.
Even for its age, the Challenger 601-3A still offers nice cabin space. Rather large to accommodate long-range trips, the interior measures over 6 feet tall (stand-up cabin), over 8 feet wide and 28 feet from front to back. A staggering 19 passengers will reach maximum capacity, while 10-12 are standard. A “deluxe” galley and lavatory can be found aboard. The aircraft is also known for its low noise levels.
Beginning with the original Challenger 600, Bombardier created a successful family of business jets. Manufactured from 1987-1993, the 601-3A is the cream of the crop, featuring the best engines, avionics and design of the family. It remains a likely competitor in the long-range, wide-body business jet category.