HotStart’s CL650 comes out tomorrow with a steep price

Hot Start is well known for their impressive work on their TBM 900 which many consider to be X-Plane 11’s best general aviation aircraft ever done. Now we are on the eve of the release of HotStart’s next project which is a simulation of the CL650 business jet. The goal is for lightning to strike twice and it looks like this may be one of the most detailed business jet simulations ever – but it does come at a price. Let’s have a look!

Features, features, features

Set to release on X-Aviation’s store tomorrow, the HotStart CL650 is simulating the Canadair/Bombardier Challenger 650 business jet. The aircraft is regarded as one of the most successful large sized business jets ever created with over 1,000 of the jets sold since production began in the early 1980s.

Hot Start for their part have aimed at a very high level with the simulation of this jet. The intention is to provide an experience that starts you not in the jet but in your FBO with interactions between you as the pilot and all of the pre-flight experiences leading up to fueling and then getting onboard the jet. You can evn ride in the de-icing truck.

The aircraft has a Pro Line 21 Advanced Suite with three independent FMC’s, screens, and more all simulated down to the pixel level (you can zoom in and see the pixels apparently). There are detailed physics models governing the operation of the aircraft, engine, and even the GPU. HotStart have also programmed visualizations so you can see just what the jet and its systems are doing. The same has been applied to the electrical system as well.

In short, this is an aircraft with an extreme amount of modeling detail. Despite all of that, Hot Start advertise that they have done a lot of work to ensure that the jet runs smoothly. System requirements have already been published:

  • Operating Systems: MacOS 11+ (at least Big Sur), Windows 10+, and Linux.
  • Minimum: Core i5 quad-core, 3.4 GHz + 16GB of RAM + GTX 970 graphics card (or equivalent, 4GB of VRAM)
  • Recommended: Core i7, 8-core, 4.2 GHz (or Ryzen 7, 4.2 GHz) + GTX 2070 graphics card (or equivalent, 8GB of VRAM)

The price

This is where you may be bracing yourself if you haven’t already gone to look up the price. Offered through the X-Aviation store, the Hot Start Challenger CL650 for X-Plane 11 is going to be offered for the price of: $114.95.

Check it out in the X-Aviation store.

Learn more about it

One of the aircraft developers, totoritko, has a YouTube and Twitch channel that has had several live streams showing off the aircraft and how to use some of its systems. The video is both instructional as well as a good showcase of what the jet can do.

There’s also a really well done behind the scenes video put together by Threshold that is done in the form of an interview looking at the CL650’s development process.


16 Comments Add yours

  1. Jer Stryker says:

    Looks impressive and as a flight sim add-on I bet it’s worth the money, especially if the avionics are simulated to perfection. Still, I wonder how expensive you can/should make such a niche product before pricing yourself out of reach of anyone who might just want to collect a plane but not go full in on the experience?

    It would have been nice if the plane were $90 and all the ground extras were a $25 add-on, or something.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      Yep! Agreed! I have an editorial coming out shortly with an attempt at trying to answer that question (if its possible). I feel like they’d sell more at $90 than $115 and easily make up the difference over the long haul.


      1. proslingshot says:

        I think the price is reasonable for what the airport. The XP addons prices have crept up. The FF 767, 757, and the Toliss A340 are all close or over $100. Compared to PMDG/FsLabs, XP addons are cheap. And I don’t think PMDG/FsLabs have struggled to sell their addons.


  2. CanadaOne says:

    If that’s in US dollars it comes out to $146Cdn. That’s a chunk o’ change for any plane, more so for a sim that’s dated and about to be replaced.

    The top DCS planes are $45Cdn less than that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      It is a considerable amount! I should have mentioned that the developers are reporting that X-Plane 12 support is planned. So hopefully the transition is smooth.


  3. Chris says:

    One thing that is really not so clear to me is, if it X-Plane 12 comes out will I have to rebuy the HotStart/Torque Sim products or are upadtes of the aircraft(s) to the next X-Plane eversion included in the purchase? By the way I think that the activation methods (Gizmo) that are used on HotStart and Torque Sim Products are much better than most other activation methods for X-plane 3rd party addons. Since here activations are not limited like for example in the case of Aerobark products (they make some really nice aircraft) who unfortunately use a very different DRM system. I do own the Hotstart TBM product and it is just amazing (also Torquesim planes are usually very good too.)


    1. Urgent Siesta says:

      HotStart has stated the 650 will be a free upgrade for v12. Don’t know if TBM will be, too.

      Laminar Research is doing/has done a lot of work to ensure addon compatibility with the new sim, so the chances are good for only minor changes to be made.

      OTOH, HotStart uses a lot of custom coding, and that’s where the trouble could arise…

      Honestly, for the price premium they charge, I expect a free upgrade.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. ShamrockOneFive says:

        Indeed! I think we’re going to see a lot of X-Plane 11 modules come over to 12 relatively unscathed if the initial words from Laminar are accurate. A lot of devs seem to be looking at a straightforward transition.

        We’ll see how it plays out!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Chris says:

    I meant unlimited in the sense that while you do not have of course have unlimited number of activations at the same time, older activations can be disabled.


  5. butcher75 says:

    $160 Aud, Hard No!!!!


  6. Chris says:

    I read at x-avation that the update for XP12 is included in the purchase of CL650.
    I can´t help but thinking how great it would be if the CL650 and the Hotstart TBM were also available for MFS2020.


  7. Chris says:

    However maybe I will buy it for X-Plane. Hotstart TBM feels like exceptional study level like a super detailed DCS module, (for example L39). Most aircraft in X-plane are not comparable to HotStart TBM, so maybe I will buy CL650. I highly recommend HotStart and TorqueSim aircraft and of course A2A Simulations.


  8. Urgent Siesta says:

    From what I’ve seen so far, this is at least as well executed as any PMDG/FS Labs/iniBuilds/Flight Factor/Felis, et al.

    I see comments about not wanting to pay for it because it’s “only” a tiny biz jet, or it’s just too expensive, etc.

    Well, modern biz jets are every bit as sophisticated/complicated as any airliner, and this one actually significantly outperforms the 737 AND a320! Think of it like a sports car vs an SUV, and you won’t be far off.

    The very high price is only an issue if you’re a collector of addons rather than a deep diver on just a few. And let’s face it, given the ever increasing level of fidelity of addons these days, pretty much all of us are only superficially competent in most of the addons we own. So why NOT get just one or two super complete “study level” aircraft?

    As far not being a “real man’s jet”, this one can take you farther than the single-aisle Boeing’s and Airbuses, get there just as fast, and cruise at the same altitudes. AND you have the considerable advantage of far, far shorter takeoff and landing distances, opening up many THOUSANDS of more destinations to visit.

    Now, add in the fact that it has virtually identical avionics to the Working Title CJ4, Aerosoft CRJ, FlyJSim Q4XP, MilViz King Air & Avanti, (even a bunch of Carenados!) and you’re actually giving yourself GREATER flexibility when it comes to variety of addons!

    My take is simply that, like a Lexus or Acura, this addon is expensive, but absolutely worth the money. So I’ll cut one or two “just for fun” addon’s/airports from my wish list, and get busy going deep on this one.


    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      I understand it the same way. It sounds like an impressive simulation done at the highest levels possible in simulation in the 2020s. An impressive achievement.

      But I wonder if they wouldn’t get more money for their efforts by reducing the price a little.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Urgent Siesta says:

        As a business owner, I agree with you.

        HotStart priced their TBM at a significant premium to market, and have only rarely offered discounts on it.
        But it was never even close to The Most Expensive Addon!

        If it were my addon, I’d price it $5 less than the most expensive XP airliner available (which I believe is presently the iniBuilds A310 @ $95 US).
        Why? That strategy worked fantastically well for Acura and Lexus vs Mercedes, et al – still a fat profit margin, AND a high customer count.

        Liked by 1 person

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