Request A Quote

Super Midsize Jets Falcon 2000 vs Challenger 300

Super Midsize Jets: Helpful Insights to Avoid Ownership and Maintenance Speedbumps

The super midsize category is ubiquitous and well known for its versatility of use. Today, the super midsize category is very popular particularly among buyers of used aircraft. Falcon 2000’s, Challenger 300’s, and Cessna Longitudes dominate the super midsize market. These midsize jets offer similar advantages and together compete with the more costly to own and operate large cabin jets such as Globals and Gulfstreams. The super midsize category is not without its pitfalls, however. There are important maintenance and ownership considerations worth taking into account as one digs into the specifics of each manufacturer. If you are in the super midsize market currently, then our hope is you will take away some important information that will help you to ask the right questions of a sales broker as you search for the right super midsize jet to purchase. Arming yourself with background knowledge about the super midsize market will go a long way towards both a positive ownership and aircraft maintenance experience. Let’s jump in!

Falcon 2000 vs Challenger 300

Two of the fiercest competitors in the used super midsize market are the Dassault Falcon 2000 and Bombardier Challenger 300. Each offer a similar range and payload carrying capacity with similar creature comforts one expects of the super midsize category, like large seats and more spacious interiors, than lighter jets. These two aircraft types came to the market during a similar period as well. The differences between Falcon 2000’s and Challenger 300’s really come down to avionics suites, aircraft maintenance, and pitfalls associated with each type. Buyers shopping between these two aircraft types should learn about the respective ownership challenges, variants, and maintenance expectations. To satisfy that end, let’s look at the Dassault Falcon first and consider the operational and maintenance challenges associated with owning one:

Falcon 2000

Falcon 2000’s hit the market in the late 90’s with what we now call the “classic”. Today, classics are still flying and available on the used market. Buyers looking at Falcon 2000 classics should be wary of the increasingly obsolete Collins Pro Line 4 avionics suite with outdated and costly CRT display units. Retrofitted classics that boast the Collins Pro Line 21 avionics package, however, will be supported well into the future, keeping the aircraft flying safely for many more years. Falcon 2000 variants include the 2000EX, 2000EX EASy, 2000DX, 2000LX, 2000S, and 2000LXS. These variants include different enhancements like range-adding modifications, sophisticated avionics technology, or more powerful engines. Variants with the Pratt & Whitney Canada PW308C engine are said to have better manufacturer support than GE and Honeywell’s CFE738-1-1B engines. A benefit that Falcon 2000 owners might realize is marginally reduced costs for replacement parts when compared to the rest of the super midsize market.

Challenger 300

Bombardier released its Challenger 300 series in the early 2000’s at a time when the Falcon 2000 classics were undergoing a down period due to engine overhauls and an extensive focus on developing a product support system. Bombardier took advantage of the timing to fill the gap of strong market demand for super midsize jets. The Challenger 300 offers fewer variants and engines with high dispatch reliability of greater than 99%. The Challenger 300 comes standard with Collins Pro Line 21 avionics, which have more manufacturer support than older systems. One consideration worth taking seriously, however, is the cost of maintenance associated with this aircraft type. Challenger 300’s run marginally higher on maintenance costs than Falcon 2000’s, which might not seem like much in the short run but adds up significantly over time. Challenger 300’s are more on par with the rest of the super midsize market regarding parts availability and costs. Initial purchase price is another factor against Challenger 300 ownership; Challenger 300’s run an average of $4.5 million, beyond the purchase price of the average Falcon 2000. For some, this difference can significantly eat into both the maintenance and aircraft operation budget.

Other Super Midsize Jets

A buyer perusing the used market may come across one of 73 Hawker 4000s that were built. The Hawker 4000 was originally designed by Hawker Beechcraft to take the super midsize category to the next level regarding performance and user enhancements. A limited number of this type were produced due to development and regulatory setbacks combined with the financial crisis of 2008. Hawker 4000s are fine aircraft, but due to the limited number that were produced, they have experienced greater AOG time for things like engine overhauls and regular inspections. The typical used Hawker 4000 can be purchased for a fraction of its original price, but one must consider upkeep costs and challenges associated with this type. Another, more common and much newer, super midsize type one might consider buying is the Cessna Citation Longitude. These aircraft are well supported by the manufacturer but come with some significant sticker shock when compared to other aircraft in the used super midsize market. Used Longitudes run north of $20 million, effectively pricing certain buyers out of this type.