Certified in 1980, the Challenger 600 was based on Bill Lear’s LearStar 600. Canadair was responsible for the production of the Challenger 600 until 1986 when it became a division of Bombardier Aerospace. One of its most unique features is its widened fuselage, allowing for a “walk-about cabin.” It was also one of the first business jets to feature a supercritical wing, and is one of the few business jets that uses a doubled slotted hinged flap design, allowing fairings to be seen below the wings, which is typically seen more often on airliners. The Challenger 600 was in production until 1983 before it was replaced by the Challenger 601. Its military configurations for the Royal Canadian Air Force are the Canadair CC-144, CE-144, and CX-144. Challenger 600s that have been retrofitted with the winglets found on the 601-1A are designated the Challenger 600S.
The Challenger 600, equipped with two ALF-502L engines, has a normal cruise speed of 446 knots, a range of 2,909 nautical miles, a climb rate of 3,488 feet per minute, and requires 6,045 feet of runway to takeoff and 3,170 to land.
In 1983, deliveries of the Challenger 601-1A began. The Model 601-1A features winglets and more powerful GE CF34-1A engines, compared to the 600. Variants of the 601 include the 601-1A/ER, which is a 1A that has been retrofitted with an addition fuel tank in the tail, the 601-3A, which comes equipped with higher flat-rated CF34-3A engines and a glass cockpit, and was the first model to be marketed by Bombardier, the 601-3A/ER, which includes an optional fuel tank in the tail, the 601-3R, which has a standard fuel tank in the tail and CF34-3A1 engines, and the 601S, which comes equipped with CF34-3A2 engines.
The Challenger 601-1A, equipped with CF34-1A engines, has a normal cruise speed of 442 knots, a range of 3,450 nautical miles, a climb rate of 4,200 feet per minute, and requires 6,143 feet of runway to takeoff and 3,500 to land. The 601-3A, equipped with CF34-3A engines, has a normal cruise speed of 476 knots, a range of 3,000 nautical miles, a climb rate of 4,443 nautical miles, and requires 5,948 feet of runway to takeoff and 3,437 to land. The 601-3R, equipped with CF34-3A1 engines, has a normal cruise speed of 476 knots, a range of 3,580 nautical miles, a climb rate of 4,259 feet per minute, and requires 6,338 feet of runway to takeoff and 3,437 to land.