In the small but rarified world of private aviation, the customer-supplier relationship can sometimes feel more like a partnership, or a meeting of the minds. XOJET, which owns and operates the Bombardier Challenger 300 within its floating charter fleet of super mid-size private jets, has a feel and affinity for this universally admired aircraft that is not so different from the manufacturer’s.
To understand more about the making of a Challenger 300, I spoke with Bombardier’s industrial design manager Timothy Fagan, a 17-year veteran of the company’s design-engineering group, and asked him just how the customization process for XOJET unfolds.
Watching a Bombardier Challenger 300 climb toward 41,000 feet and a cruising speed of 520 miles per hour, you’re likely to think of all the high-tech engineering that powers it in flight. But those aboard the jet are likely to be focused on its high-end interior finishes, made predominantly of leather and wood.
Sourced from European tanneries that serve high-end furniture manufacturers, the luxuriant leathers found on a Challenger 300 are customized for color, texture, grain pattern, and other subtle features. Upholstering the cabin walls as well as the seating, they help create a first impression that soothes and gratifies any boarding passenger. The best steer hides are used, matched with expensive dyes to create a warm look enhanced by deep and uniform colors.