Swiss Air-Ambulance Rega signed a firm order for three Bombardier Challenger 650 aircraft, to serve as air ambulances. The order is worth 130 million US dollars, including aircraft modifications such as the installation of a medevac interior. The planes are due to say their first “hi!” to the Swiss Alps in 2018.
Rega currently operates three Challenger CL-604 in the air ambulance role, as well as 11 AgustaWestland Da Vinci and 6 Eurocopter (Airbus Helicopters) EC145 choppers. As a privately funded foundation, its mission is to carry out air-rescue operations in Switzerland and to repatriate patients from abroad.
A true intercontinental aircraft with a range in excess of 4,000 nm (7,408 km), the Challenger 650 jet builds on the Challenger 605 aircraft with improved features such as the newly-evolved GE engines offering greater, shorter take-off distance, extra payload capacity and greater range capabilities out of challenging airports. The Challenger 650 jet also features a new flight deck and a completely restyled cabin.
NetJets became the global launch customer for the aircraft, when the first of its 25 ordered Challenger 650 jet was introduced at the National Business Aviation Conference and Exhibition (NBAA) in Orlando, Florida, in October 2014.
Today, more than 40 countries operate and are served by variants of Bombardier’s business and commercial aircraft fleets in various missions and specialized applications.
Sources: Bombardier / Rega
Featured image (top): The Challenger 650 (Image © Bombardier)
Take a 360 look around in Rega’s current Challenger CL-604 Air Ambulance
(Footage © Rega (Click to see more!)