The Challenger 601 has changed considerably from its predecessor, the Challenger 600. When the first Challenger 601 was certificated in March 1983, the most notable improvement was the replacement of the 600′s troublesome Lycoming ALF 502 engines with the far more reliable GE CF34 engines. This made up for most of the 600′s shortcomings, but aerodynamic refinements and other improvements have also contributed to the advancement of the aircraft to a higher level of performance and reliability. Range has also increased significantly: the original Challenger 600′s disappointingly short legs have been vindicated by the CL-601-3A’s 3,290 nm capability. The CL-601-3A, with the newer -3A variant of the GE CF34 turbofan engine, made its first flight in September 1986 and was certificated in April 1987 with 134 aircraft delivered through 1993.
The Challenger 601-3A is powered by two GE CF34-3A two-spool, high-bypass ratio turbofans rated at 8,650 lbs. of thrust each at takeoff. Automatic power reserve rating is 9,140 lbs. thrust each. Inspection interval on the engines is 6,000 hours.
The Challenger 601-3A is a twin turbofan, long range, wide-body business aircraft configured as a cantilever low swept-wing monoplane. It has retractable tricycle landing gear with two wheels on each unit and a trailing link main gear design. Aerodynamic refinements, such as the addition of drag-reducing winglets, have been combined with increased fuel capacity to give the -3A the transoceanic range originally envisioned for the Challenger series: the 601-3A is able to carry five passengers 3,430 nm with IFR reserves. The Challenger 601-3A incorporates the newer -3A variant of the GE CF34 turbofan engines and adds an all-glass cockpit.
The Challenger 601-3A has a maximum occupancy of 19, but typical configurations accommodate 10-12 passengers with a deluxe galley and lavatory, and amenities appropriate for the relatively long leg times expected for an aircraft of this class. The large fuselage cross section of the Challenger yields a cabin width of over 8 feet, a length of over 28 feet and standup height of slightly over 6 feet in a cabin that is noted for its low noise levels.
|Characteristics||Challenger 601-3A, CL-600-2B16|
|External Dimensions (ft)||Challenger 601-3A, CL-600-2B16|
|Internal Dimensions (ft)||Challenger 601-3A, CL-600-2B16|
|Internal Length (Overall/Net Height)||28.3|
|Internal Width (Max/Floor)||8.2/7.2|