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Canadair Regional Jet (CRJ)

The Canadair Regional Jet (CRJ) is essentially a lengthened Challenger business jet. CL65 is the ICAO and FAA designator for the CRJ in general, while CL67 and CL69 can be used for the 700 and 900 respectively. "CL" = Canadair Ltd...the name of the Canadian state-owned aircraft manufacturing company before it was acquired by Bombardier.

The CL-600 Canadair Challenger is the business jet from which the Canadair Regional Jet was derived. The three models in the CL-600-2B19 series are the Canadair Regional Jet CRJ-200 model, the CRJ-100 and CRJ-440. The CRJ uses the nearly unchanged engine installation and tail assembly of the CL-600 with and enlarged wing mounted further forward on a lengthened fuselage. The fuselage of the CRJ passenger plane is substantially longer than the Challenger business jet, but the fuselage diameter is not.

The fact that this four-abreast passenger jet was derived from a business explains why the CRJ is notoriously cramped. CRJs are cramped, have uncomfortable (albeit nifty leather) seating. Tall passenges have horrible sensations of being cramped sardines on the Bombardier CRJ, and the window seats are very cramped. The CRJ700 has a seat pitch of 31" and a cabin width of 2.57m, the CRJ100/200 has a cabin width of 2.49m. The CRJ700's & -900's are more comfortable than the CRJ200, but not as nice as the Embraer E-Jets. The bigger windows on the ERJ-140 over the CRJ is a noteable when it comes to views.

The Canadair Regional Jet (CRJ) has become a common sight at airports. The emergence of the regional jet originally began to replace turboprop aircraft. The smaller jet has allowed a better match between aircraft and outlining communities, adding to the jet's list of positives. This is due to the extended range the CRJ has over turboprop aircraft and the shorter runway needs over larger jets. Canadair (now part of Bombardier Aerospace) began studies on a 24 seat stretched development of the Challenger CL-600 business jet in 1981. Design studies for a stretched airliner based on the CL-601 were first undertaken in 1987, leading Canadair to launch the Regional Jet program on 31 March 1989. The first of three development aircraft took to the skies for the first time on 10 May 1991. Transport Canada certification was awarded on July 31 1992, allowing the first customer delivery to Lufthansa in October 1992.

Bombardier purchased Canadair from the Canadian government in 1986. At the time, Canadair produced the Dash 8 turboprop line of aircraft, Learjets and the Challenger corporate jet. The Challenger jet, which the Canadian government had spent CAN$1.2 billion to develop and manufacture, was redesigned by Bombardier for a relatively low CAN$250 million to create the modern CRJ - Bombardier Model CL-600-2B19 (Regional Jet Series 100 & 440) airplanes. Bombardier Regional Aircraft was created in 1992 with responsibility for the Canadair Regional Jet and the de Havilland Dash 8 turboprop family. From 1986 to 1996, Canadair's revenue grew from CAN$500 million per year to CAN$4 billion per year.

The first Bombardier CRJ to enter service was the 50-seat CRJ100 with Lufthansa CityLine in November 1992. Officially launched in March 1989, and with more than 100 airlines contributing to its design, the Canadair RJ-100 (CRJ) was the world's first 50 seat regional jet airliner. Roll out occurred in May 1991. The jet was introduced into American service in May 1993, by Comair of Cincinnati, flying as a Delta express carrier.

The original CRJ-100 series - the 100, 100ER and 100LR - was augmented by the 200 series (with more efficient engines) in 1995. The CRJ100 was superseded by the CRJ200 which utilized the same airframe but offered an upgraded engine. A variant of this aircraft called the CRJ440, limited to 44 seats, was certified in October 2001 and entered service with Northwest in January 2002. The CRJ-200 was initially priced at US$18 and by 1997 was selling for approximately $20 million.

As a result of the success of its turboprops and RJs, by 1997 Bombardier Aerospace was the world's third largest manufacturer of civil aircraft, after Boeing and Airbus. On September 1, 1997, the CRJ firm order book stood at 286 aircraft. By November 21, 1997, firm orders had risen to 307, including purchases by 6 U.S. carriers. Bombardier's production rate was 58 CRJs per year, but it was expected to rise to 67 by 1999.

The CRJ-200 has a cruise speed of Mach .81 and a range of 1,650 nm. It has more than 6 feet of standing headroom, a lavatory, overhead bins and a hot meal galley making it the smallest commercial jetliner with a full cabin interior for passenger comfort. The 50-seat CRJ is being delivered in 2 basic models, the CRJ-200 and the CRJ-200LR. The 200LR has an extended range of just over 2,000 nm. The CRJ-200's estimated direct operating costs are just over 11 cents per available seat mile (ASM) for a 225 statute-mile flight, versus just over 6 cents per ASM for an 1,150 statute-mile flight.

Since entering service in 1992, the Bombardier CRJ has revolutionized the commercial air transport industry and changed the way people travel. Today, more than 1,300 Bombardier CRJ aircraft fly with operators large and small all over the world and the CRJ Series family of aircraft has become the most successful regional aircraft program the world has ever known.

The Bombardier CRJ gives airlines the capability to offer services to its passengers that were not previously possible with mainline narrowbody airliners or conventional regional turboprops. The speed and range of the CRJ allows airlines to extend the traditional "capture area" of an airline from its hub airports, bringing more passengers into its network. The smaller aircraft capacity of the CRJ compared to mainline narrowbodies (eg - 737, A320) allows utilizing secondary airports to fly to key destinations, avoiding traditional hub airports.

With the tremendous success of the CRJ200 airlines asked for a larger capacity CRJ that would allow them to grow their traditional markets while offering lower seat-mile costs. In collaboration with its customers Bombardier developed several new members of the CRJ family; the CRJ700, CRJ705 and CRJ900 that featured a complete re-design of all of the structure and systems. In addition, an all-new wing was developed that increases the cruise speed of these aircraft while offering excellent airfield characteristics. These aircraft also feature an all new interior cabin that offers increased room for the passenger, enabled by a lowering the floor by 1" (2.54 cm) and redesigning the aircraft frames of the original CRJ200, offering more headroom and a wider cabin. The seating and bins were completely redesigned to allow more passenger space and increased bin stowage.

In January 1997, Bombardier launched the RJ-700 program to produce a 70-seat version of the CRJ. Its first flight is scheduled for the first quarter of 1999 and it is scheduled to enter service with launch customer American Eagle in the 3rd quarter of 2000. As of February 1998, the RJ-700 program had received 67 firm orders, and other options, from 7 airlines, of which American Eagle has the first 25 firm orders. The RJ-700 initially rolled out as the "A" model, with 70 seats, followed by the "B" model which accommodates 72-78 passengers. The A model has a 1,700 nm range with an extended range version having a 2,000 nm range.v The Bombardier CRJ700 made its maiden flight in May 1999 and was delivered to inaugural customer Brit Air/Air France in January 2001. In January 2003 the largest member of this highly successful family - the Bombardier CRJ900 - was delivered to Mesa Airlines of the United States. The CRJ705 was announced in March 2005. The CRJ705 and CRJ900 now come standard with an "Enhanced Performance Package" incorporating structural, aerodynamic and system changes for improved airfield performance and lower fuel burn.

The CRJ700, CRJ705 and CRJ900 share the same engine, allowing for greater commonality and reduced maintenance costs. All versions of the Bombardier CRJ can be flown by the same pilot pool, substantially reducing training costs.

CRJ700, CRJ900 and CRJ1000 NextGen

On May 31, 2007 Bombardier Aerospace introduced next generation versions of its CRJ700, CRJ900 and CRJ1000 regional jets. The first next generation airliner was a Northwest Airlines CRJ900 NextGen regional jet and entered service in the second quarter of 2007. These new CRJ NextGen aircraft will feature significant operating cost improvements, an all-new cabin and the increased use of composite materials. "The CRJ NextGen family is the next step in the continuing evolution of the CRJ Series. The new interior will enhance passenger experience and we have lowered the operating costs to airlines. The NextGen aircraft will offer advantages in operating costs versus their nearest competitors which will have up to 15 per cent higher trip cash operating costs. These cost benefits and new cabin standards are compelling reasons for airlines to strongly consider the CRJ NextGen aircraft for their requirements.

CRJ NextGen aircraft will achieve even better economics compared to the existing standard of CRJ Series aircraft. These improvements, under certain operating conditions, will come from fuel burn savings of up to four per cent and direct maintenance cost reductions achieved through lower airframe maintenance requirements. Maintenance schedule intervals are being increased, and tasks are being harmonized to reduce aircraft down time and labour over the life of the aircraft. With their reduced fuel burn, the CRJ NextGen aircraft will respond to today's environmental challenges by offering further reduction in green house gas emissions compared to their nearest competitors.

CRJ NextGen aircraft interiors include improvements designed with the overall passenger experience in mind. The passenger windows have been enlarged and have an increase of 24 per cent in the overall viewing area. The overhead bins have been modified to accommodate a larger roller bag as well as optimized to store up to 27 per cent more bags. The addition of LED lighting brightens the cabin environment while highlighting the improved aesthetics achieved with the new sidewall and ceiling panel design and dished window reveal.

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Page last modified: 02-10-2017 18:47:08 ZULU