A derivative of the Challenger 600, the Challenger 601 was designed with the primary goal of passenger comfort. It is unusually wide-bodied and can carry up to nineteen passengers in its 8.2 foot wide cabin, yet it has transcontinental range, and is able to complete nonstop flights between almost any two cities in the United States. Its flight systems are reliable and it is generally very easy to maintain. The 601 series includes two variations: the 601-3A and 601 3R. Sharing everything but the engine, a t-tail and tailcone fuel tank, the 601 3R is the most recent variation and replaced the 3A in 1993.
As previously mentioned, the cabin of this private jet is uncharacteristically large: its width is 8.2 feet, its height is 6.1 feet and its length is 28.3 feet. Passengers enjoy a quiet interior and well-lit cabin. It usually has a seating configuration that comfortably holds between eight and twelve people, but can be configured to carry as many as nineteen.
Two General Electric CF34-3A1 engines power the Challenger 601-3R, each flat rated to 70°F, meaning that the engines provide their full 8,729 pounds of thrust (79 more than the 601) in temperatures up to 70°F. Performance drops slightly above the 70° mark, but they still perform well in temperatures over 90°F. The Challenger 601-3R can take off in 6,050 feet (at sea level), and has a cruise speed of 460 knots. It can take five passengers up to 3,585 nautical miles nonstop.
The cabin of the Challenger 601-3R is rated to 8.8 psi, meaning that it can maintain a sea-level cabin at 23,200 feet. Its performance is surprisingly high considering that the cabin is larger than most other jets, and its Maximum Takeoff Weight (45,100 pounds) is far heavier than the average MTOW of large-cabin private jets.
The glass cockpit of this private jet contains the fully integrated Honeywell SPZ-8000 avionics guidance system. It comes standard with left- and right-side primary flight displays and a center multifunction screen, dual Collins VHF 22B, dual VIR 32, dual ADF 462, dual DME 42, triple Laseref INS, dual FMS 800, and Honeywell WU 870 color weather radar. Other features, like adjustable windshield heat and the addition of landing light under the nose, make flying the Challenger 601 easier.
Improving on the already great Challenger 601, the 601-3R is a private jet well-suited for frequent cross-country trips under rigorous conditions. It is reliable, comfortable, and high-performing. Its nonstop capabilities are close to unlimited within the U.S., the deciding factor for most private jet travelers.