Aircraft Review: Bombardier Challenger 350

Thomas W. Mitchell Executive Vice President
bombardier-challenger-350

Since its maiden flight on March 2, 2013, the Bombardier Challenger 350 has quickly become one of the most popular selling business jets among corporate flight departments and charter operators seeking a mid-size cabin and coast-to-coast range. It features a variety of improvements over its already popular predecessor, the Challenger 300, including an updated avionics suite, additional cabin space and a slightly greater payload, which can provide even longer range. Thanks to these upgrades, as well as other interior enhancements incorporated within the Challenger 350 completion process, Bombardier boasts that the Challenger 350 has been the most delivered super mid-size business jet for six consecutive years.

Within this aircraft review, we will take an in-depth look at the Challenger 350, including technical specifications, design options, technology, investment costs and more.

Table of Contents

The Challenger 350 at a Glance

Challenger 350 with yellow stripe detailing flying at a slant over misty mountains.

Photo Credit: Bombardier

Maximum Range 3,200 nm / 5,926 km
Top Speed 0.83 Mach / 553 KTAs / 1024 km/h
Typical Cruise Speed 0.80 Mach / 533 KTAs / 987 km/h
Maximum Altitude 45,000 ft / 13,716 m
Cabin Dimensions
Length 25 ft 2 in / 7.68 m
Height 6 ft / 1.83 m
Exterior Dimensions
Length 68 ft 8 in / 20.9 m
Wingspan 69 ft / 21 m
Height 20 ft / 6.1 m
Passengers Up to 10

Cockpit Design

Cockpit with two pilots’ seats covered in black shearling fabric, a control panel with multiple buttons and switches, two steering yokes and four navigational displays. A field of clouds can be seen outside the cockpit windows.

Photo Credit: Bombardier

The Bombardier Challenger 350’s cockpit features enhanced flight deck technology, incorporating the Rockwell Collis Pro Line 21 Advanced avionics suite with four large displays. Though the Challenger 350 does not offer a head-up display as an option, it does display a flight path vector on the primary flight display to increase situational awareness. Other systems include fly-by-wire, integrated flight information, synthetic vision, and MultiScan weather radar. The Challenger 350’s cockpit is also designed with pilots’ comfort in mind, offering ample leg room and a good amount of overall space.

Cabin Design

The Bombardier Challenger 350 offers a number of custom configurations and flexible seating arrangements, with the ability to comfortably seat up to 10 passengers. For the purposes of this review, we’ll refer to the standard double four (4) place club seating configuration, pictured below.

Bombardier Challenger 350 standard floor plan/seating arrangement, with galley area, eight seats in club-style configuration, and lavatory.

Photo Credit: Bombardier

Compared to other super mid-size aircraft, the Challenger 350’s interior design dimensions are considered quite comfortable and have been popular within both the privately owned and charter aircraft markets. Upon entering the aircraft, you will pass through a well-equipped galley, which is typically lined with a dark wood veneer and polished stone countertops. The galley’s ample-sized work surface features a microwave, drainable ice drawer, and optional sink and faucet. For added privacy, the galley can be closed off from the main cabin by way of a sound-insulating pocket door.

Passengers will likely notice how quiet the Challenger 350’s main cabin is due to its sound-suppressing design, which includes an acoustic curtain at the entry door as standard, among other noise reduction techniques. According to Bombardier,  the Challenger 350 is up to 4–5 dB  quieter than the previous Challenger 300 series.

With this example floor plan, the cabin seating does offer comfortable individual seating by way of the Challenger 350’s eight executive-style seats, with 180-degree swivel, tracking, recline and berthing capability, that makes up the double-club configuration.

Challenger 350 main cabin, with four executive-style seats upholstered with white leather in club configuration, light grey striped carpeting, black wood paneling, white walls, and HD monitor display.

Photo Credit: Bombardier

Bombardier also offers a floor plan with a three-place divan (with berthing capability) opposite two (2) single-facing executive seats as an alternative to the double-club configuration. With any configuration, the main cabin side ledges feature smaller compartments for additional storage and concealed tables stowed, but easily extendable at each executive seating arrangement.

Challenger 350 seating arrangement with optional three-plan divan style seating upholstered in white leather. The rest of the cabin features light grey striped carpet, black wood paneling, white walls, and two additional executive-style seats, also upholstered with white leather.

Photo Credit: Bombardier

In the rear of aircraft, passengers will find a lavatory with a large backlit mirror and vanity, sink and faucet, as well as a 106 cu. ft baggage compartment, which is accessible from the main cabin at any point while in-flight, if desired.

Technology

The Bombardier Challenger 350 does feature modern cabin management and in-flight entertainment systems, including standard 22 in. high-def forward and aft bulkhead monitors and plug-and-play entertainment with universal HDMI and USB ports.

With an 5G ATG option internet now available domestically, passengers can stay connected while on the go, enabling them to get important work done or enjoy their favorite music, movies and TV shows. The Challenger 350’s cabin management system features wireless cabin environment and entertainment controls, which means passengers can easily adjust settings from the convenience of their personal device.

Exterior Design

The exterior design of the Challenger 350 is similar to that of the Challenger 300, with minor variations. Design enhancements within the Challenger 350 are concentrated on the engines and internal wing structure, which allows for an increase in maximum takeoff weight, along with a slight increase in maximum range and engine thrust.

Acquisition Cost

Considering that the Challenger 350 entered service in 2013 and is still in full production, acquisition costs vary dramatically based on the relative age, specifications and, of course, the general condition of a particular pre-owned aircraft.

By now, a sizable number of pre-owned aircraft have accumulated several thousands of hours of operation (with some ready for new paint and refurbishment), while more recent deliveries or lesser used models also round-out the pre-owned market. Interested buyers can also order a new 350 from Bombardier, which presents them with the opportunity to select personal finishes and paint schemes. Generally speaking, a new Challenger 350 has published current list prices in the mid-$20M range, while early model pre-owned 350s may be found for sale in the mid-to-lower teens.

Direct Operating Costs (Hourly)

Note:All direct operating costs listed are estimated; actual expenses will vary based on total annual flight hours.

Fuel 

Approximately $1,040 per hour

Maintenance

Approximately $1,243 per hour

Engine Overhaul 

Approximately $803 per hour

Miscellaneous 

Approximately $604 per hour

 Total Direct Costs

Approximately $3,690 per hour

Source: Conklin de Decker

Fixed Costs

Note: All fixed costs listed are estimated; actual expenses will vary based on crew experience and certifications, hangar location, desired insurance coverage, and so on.

Crew 

Approximately $564,200 per year (includes Flight Attendant)

Crew Training

Approximately $90,000 per year

Hangar

Approximately $66,000 per year

Insurance

Approximately $69,560 per year

Miscellaneous

Approximately 158,879 per year

Total Fixed Costs

Approximately $983,239 per year

Source: Conklin de Decker

Is a Challenger 350 Right for You?

When evaluating any business aircraft, it’s important to look for a model that not only performs to a level that meets your unique travel requirements, but also offers all of the specifications and amenities you need to travel in comfort and the style you wish.

The Challenge 350 has proven exceptional at providing non-stop service between any two U.S. cities and does so with high relative efficiency. As a super mid-size aircraft, it also offers an exceptionally comfortable cabin with office-in-the-sky technology features. However, should your travel needs require additional non-stop range, passenger capability or payload, Bombardier offers larger models with greater cabin size and performance, such as the Challenger 650 or its Global series aircraft.

How to Acquire a Bombardier Challenger 350

Ready to take the next step toward further evaluating the Challenger 350? Essex Aviation Group is here to help, offering expert services at every stage of the evaluation and acquisition process. With a combined 100 years of aviation experience, our team of consultants brings an unparalleled level of expertise and professionalism to the table. From private jet leasing to aircraft acquisition, Essex Aviation offers a full range of private aviation services to help you take flight.

Contact us today to find out what Essex can do for you.

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