The Bombardier Challenger 600 began as a proof-of-concept business aircraft design from American aircraft pioneer Bill Lear. The design was subsequently purchased by Canadair, the predecessor to Bombardier, in the late 1970s. Canadair further refined the design and certified the aircraft in 1980. The type really “took off,” so to speak, with the follow-on Challenger 601, introduced in 1983, which replaced its predecessor’s Avro Lycoming engines with modern General Electric CF43-1A turbofans designed for high-utilization commercial airline service.
The forward wing sweep, 20,280 pounds (9.20 t) MOTW Hamburger Flugzeugbau HFB 320 Hansa Jet first flew on 21 April 1964, powered by two General Electric CJ610, 47 were built between 1965 and 1973. The joint Piaggo-Douglas, 18,000 pounds (8.2 t) MOTW Piaggio PD.808 first flew on 29 August 1964, powered by two Armstrong Siddeley Vipers, 24 were built for the Italian Air Force.