Threshold Exclusive: Hot Start Challenger 650 Announced + Previews

May 21, 2019

Hot Start, developers of the uber-popular Take Command! TBM 900, have debuted their next aircraft for X-Plane 11. Announced today, the Bombardier Challenger 650 is their latest project, promising ultra-high levels of detailing and systems depth.

The announcement of the Challenger 650 came via a Livestream from developer Goran Matovina, with the developers kindly providing Threshold with some exclusive screenshots of the aircraft for our readers.

Hot Start's latest project is being modeled, textured, and animated by Goran Matovina (also behind Leading Edge Simulations and their Saab 340A), with its flight model and systems being coded by Saso Kiselkov, who's behind the very popular Librain rain effect library.

The Bombardier Challenger 650 is a twelve seat private jet with a maximum range of 4,000-nm (7,408-km). The 650 is an improved variant of the older Challenger 605, which features a redesigned cabin, a Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 Advanced avionics suite, as well as a slight increase in takeoff thrust over its older cousin.

The feature list for the Hot Start Challenger 650 includes:

  • Study level recreation of the Challenger 650 in every aspect (unless limited by the sim).
  • Highly realistic flight model, the plane will very closely represent its real-life counterpart in handling (within a few percent)...this will be tested and verified by real Challenger pilots.
  • An unparalleled level of system depth, like the TBM 900 the Challenger 650 will feature completely custom systems and subsystems.
  • As with the TBM, each subsystem will function like its real-world counterpart...there won’t be anything surface level about this aircraft.
  • Realistic sounds - the Challenger 650 (similar to the TBM) uses a custom sound engine to fully recreate the aircraft in different states/phases, sub-components are also fully accounted for here, each containing its own sounds. These sounds will be sourced from real recordings of a Challenger 650.
  • Usage of modern hardware - like the TBM, the Challenger 650 will utilise multi-threaded CPUs to ensure that the complexity of the aircraft does not significantly affect frame rates.
  • The Challenger will feature full aircraft state persistence, every part of the aircraft’s state will be restored when you reload.
  • Airframe manager (like the TBM) allows you to save multiple different airframes, each with their own different wear and tear based on how you treated it...also allows for custom registration markings.
  • The aircraft will encounter wear and tear over time, and maintaining the aircraft will become part of the experience, as well as flying the aircraft correctly to increase its longevity (as with the TBM)
  • Performance of the aircraft will be affected based on its state (e.g. worn tires are less reactive to input, more engine wear leads to less maximum power)
  • The Challenger 650 will have the “Challenger” feel to it, just as how every aircraft has its own personality of sorts

The developers have informed us that the Challenger 650 will not be releasing this year. Estimates from Hot Start point to either Q1 or Q2 of 2020.

Hot Start remains tight-lipped on price too, saying a firm price point has also not been established yet.

As with the development of the TBM 900, Hot Start will be very actively and openly developing the aircraft. Those who are interested can expect many future streams from Goran Matovina's Twitch (LeadingEdgeSimulations) and Saso Kiselkov's Twitch (totoritko).

Threshold will be closely following the progress of the Hot Start Challenger 650. If you would like to view the full announcement stream from Hot Start, click here. To see Hot Start’s other aircraft, the TBM900, click here.

Threshold encourages informed discussion and debate - though this can only happen if all commenters remain civil when voicing their opinions.