Nextant Aerospace expects to secure US supplemental type certification in the fourth quarter for its Rockwell Collins Pro Line Fusion upgrade to the Bombardier Challenger 604, and says slots for the upgrade at its Cleveland, Ohio facility are sold out through the first quarter of 2019.
The Fusion flightdeck replaces the legacy model’s Pro Line 4 suite, and marks the first phase of Nextant’s modernisation programme for the large-cabin business jet.
Launched in May 2017, the 604XT is the third aircraft in the airframer’s line-up, joining the 400XTi – a remanufactured Hawker 400A/XP light business jet – and the G90XT – an upgrade of the Beechcraft King Air C90 twin-engined turboprop.
The Fusion-equipped 604XT has logged more than 100 flight hours, says Nextant’s director of new product development, James Clifford. “Missions have included flying East to West Coast USA, and long over-water segments to Europe. All the equipment is functioning as designed,” he adds.
Clifford describes customer response to the Fusion upgrade as “fantastic”. In order to satisfy demand, Nextant will bring additional facilities on line from early 2019, adding the capability at sites in Stamford, Florida and Mesa, Arizona. “There will be plenty of capacity,” he says.
Other planned enhancements to the 604XT include a range increase of up to 500nm (925km), which Clifford says will be made via a “significant drag-reduction and wing-extension programme” that is now in its early stages. “We are currently in the research and development phase, and reviewing the different options to enable us to accomplish that performance goal,” he says.
Nextant is also studying options for a new interior for the 604XT, which will be designed, Clifford says, “to meet the comfort and technology needs of today’s high-end business aircraft owner and operators”.