The aircraft was an independent design by Bill Lear in 1976, who had resigned as Chairman of Lear Jet seven years previously. Originally dubbed the LearStar 600, Lear sold exclusive rights to produce and develop the design to Canadair, who renamed it the CL-600 Challenger.
While similar in general configuration to Lear’s previous designs, notable changes were made that distinguished the new aircraft from the Learjetsincluding the use of a widened fuselage that allowed a “walk-about cabin”, a feature not shared by any other business aircraft of the time. The Challenger was also one of the first business jets designed with a super-critical wing.
The CL-600 was originally produced with Avco Lycoming ALF 502L turbofan engines. These turbofan engines were capable of producing 7,500 pounds of thrust per engine. These engines propelled the CL-600 to a maximum airspeed of 561 miles per hour. The CL-600 has a maximum cruising airspeed of 552 miles per hour, and a long range cruising airspeed of 497 miles per hour. A maximum operating altitude of 45,000 feet is attainable in the CL-600, and a maximum range with a reserve of fuel for rapidly changing weather scenarios is 3,912 miles. There were 83 aircraft made with this configuration before it was retrofitted with winglets.
Bombardier built the original Challenger 600 with the primary goal of passenger comfort. Typical cabin configuration was a double club configuration with seating for 8 passengers in two separate areas within the cabin. Various seating options were available with 14, 15, 17, and even 18 passenger, cabin layout designs. It is unusually wide-bodied and can carry up to nineteen passengers in its 8.2 foot wide cabin. While the Challenger 600 is a private jet well-suited for frequent cross-country trips under rigorous conditions, it fails to match the performance capabilities of the upgraded 601-1A. Refinements like a more advanced engine and the addition of winglets make the aircraft capable of transoceanic range.
Had a great flight yesterday. The pilots were amazing. Got us thru a storm and wind with hardly a bump. Very impressive.
The trip was great. We were scheduled to depart at 9:00am. My parents arrived at the Bermuda Dunes Airport around 8:15. The pilots were ready a long time before that. They asked if we wanted to leave early and we got my father loaded up in the jet and left 8:30am. You couldn’t do that with a commercial flight. The pilots were very courteous and professional. They made us feel safe and comfortable before the flight and during the flight.
I used to charter from other companies, until I met the personnel from Desert Jet. I haven’t flown with anybody else in the last 10 years. Desert Jet is an organization that puts safety first, and I appreciate their professionalism.
They are professional; they care about what they do. It’s a top notch organization right here in our backyard.
Thanks for the super crisp, professional, and friendly service…will definitely use you guys again!