Bombardier is pleased to announce that it has delivered the first Challenger 650 aircraft converted into an air ambulance, to long-standing customer Swiss Air-Rescue Rega. The Swiss air ambulance service will take possession of two more Challenger 650 aircraft this year, replacing its earlier-generation Challenger 604 fleet.
These robust, spacious and high-performing aircraft are being specially outfitted with intensive care units, representing the next generation of airborne medical evacuation.
“It is incredibly rewarding for us that Bombardier jets help save so many lives while in service with Rega, and we are thrilled that they will continue to do so for many years to come,” said David Coleal, President, Bombardier Business Aircraft. “The Challenger 650 aircraft is an ideal air ambulance vehicle, with the reliability needed when emergencies arise and a smooth ride that is essential when delivering in-flight medical care.”
Swiss Air-Rescue Rega, a non-profit foundation and one of the world's pioneers in aeromedical evacuation, carries out air-rescue operations in Switzerland with a fleet of 17 rescue helicopters and repatriates patients from abroad with three ambulance jets. A long-standing Bombardier customer, Rega acquired its first Challenger aircraft in 1982 and has operated Challenger aircraft ever since.
The Challenger 650 aircraft combines the tried-and-true performance upon which Rega has depended for decades, with the enhancements and technology to be the life-saving fleet of a new generation. Its higher-thrust engines allow for a shorter take-off distance, and the Bombardier Vision flight deck reduces pilot workload. The Challenger 650 aircraft offers a quieter cabin and a smooth ride, for the comfort of both patients and crew, as well as an impressive range of 4,000 nautical miles.
Bombardier delivered the first of three Challenger 650 aircraft to Rega on April 9 during a ceremony in Peterborough, Canada. It was an occasion for representatives from Bombardier and Rega to mark their longstanding business relationship, as well as their friendship.
“Bombardier’s Challenger aircraft have more than proven their ability to carry out critical missions over the years,” said Ernst Kohler, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Management Board of Rega, which will take possession of two more Challenger 650 aircraft in 2018. “With these three new, high-performing air ambulances we are ensuring that Rega can continue to provide reliable and professional assistance to patients all over the world throughout the next 15 years.”
The Challenger 650 aircraft, a member of the world’s best-selling large business aircraft series, has the versatility to carry out various special missions. It features the highest wing loading of any aircraft it its class, providing an exceptionally smooth ride that benefits passengers, minimizes pilot fatigue and extends the life of mission equipment. Pilots benefit from both Enhanced and Synthetic Vision thanks to the Bombardier Vision flight deck, as well as the unmatched capabilities of the industry-leading MultiScan weather radar.
Bombardier boasts more than 1,000 specialized aircraft in service around the world. From its Learjet, Challenger and Global fleet of business aircraft to its versatile Q400 multi-role aircraft, Bombardier offers a wide variety of platforms for government missions, from surveillance and reconnaissance to medical evacuations or VIP transport.