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Bombardier CRJ

Posted on August 18 2021

Bombardier CRJ user+1@localho… Wed, 08/18/2021 - 21:17

The CRJ series of regional jets (RJ) was developed by Canadian manufacturer Bombardier and includes the CRJ100, CRJ200, CRJ440, CRJ550, CRJ700, CRJ705, CRJ900 and CRJ1000. Those airframes are based on the company’s CL-600 type, which also serves as the basis for the Challenger 600 series of business jets. In fact, when the CRJ series was launched 1989, it was presented as being a 50-seat version of Canadair’s Challenger 601 business jet. The first flight of a CRJ—a CRJ100 registered as C-FCRJ—took place on May 10, 1991, from Montreal-Mirabel International Airport, with the CL-600-2B19 (Regional Jet Series 100) certified by Transport Canada on July 31, 1992. In addition to the CRJ100, the CL-600-2B19 (Regional Jet Series 100) also serves as the basis for the CRJ200; while another variant of that type, the CL-600-2B19 (Regional Jet Series 440), is marketed as the reduced-capacity CRJ440. The first delivery of a CRJ-series airplane, a CRJ100, took place on Oct. 19, 1992, to Lufthansa CityLine, an airplane that was subsequently placed into service on Nov. 1, 1992, between Cologne, Germany and Barcelona, Spain. The CRJ700 series of airplanes—CRJ700, CRJ701 and CRJ702—are the commercial designations for the CL-600-2C10 (Regional Jet Series 700, 701 and 702), while the CRJ550 and CRJ705 are a reduced-capacity variants of the CRJ 700 and CRJ900 that are designated the CL-600-2C11 (Regional Jet Series 550) and -2D15 (Regional Jet Series 705), respectively. Finally, the two largest CRJ variants, the CRJ900 and CRJ1000, are the respective commercial designations for the CL-600-2D24 (Regional Jet Series 900) and -2E25 (Regional Jet Series 1000) types. Following the completion of the sale of the CRJ program to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI), the type certificate for all variants of the CL-600 that serve as the basis for CRJ airframes was transferred from Bombardier to MHI RJ Aviation ULC of Montreal, Quebec.

CRJ Series Variant

Transport Canada Certification Date

CRJ100

July 31, 1992

CRJ200

 

CRJ440

Oct. 4, 2001

CRJ550

July 5, 2019

CRJ700

Dec. 22, 2000

CRJ701

CRJ702

Jan. 26, 2005

CRJ705

May 3, 2005

CRJ900

Sep. 9, 2002

CRJ1000

Nov. 1, 2010

Passenger Capacity and Cabin Configuration/Size

Passenger capacity of the CRJ series varies from the 44 to 104, with the CRJ440 certified to the former limitation. Both the CRJ100 and CRJ200 have a capacity of 50 passengers, accommodated in a cabin that has a length of 40 ft. 6 in., a maximum width (centerline) of 8 ft. 3 in., a height of 6 ft. 1 in. and a total cabin volume of 1,687 ft.3. Beyond the cabin space of the CL-600-2B19-based airframes, the CRJ100 and CRJ200 have a checked baggage volume of 308 ft.3, a space with a load capacity of 3,500 lb. The greater dimensions of the CL-600-2C10—including a cabin length of 56 ft. 7 in., a maximum width of 8 ft. 4 in., an aisle height of 6 ft. 2 in. and a volume of 2,430 ft.3—allows CRJ700-series variants to carry a greater number of passengers, with the certified passenger capacities of the CRJ700, CRJ701 and CRJ702 increased to 68, 70 and 78, respectively. Supplementing that space in the cabin, an additional 547 ft.3 is available for cargo, with a total of 5,375 lb. of cargo able to be accommodated by those CRJ airframes. While the maximum passenger capacity of the CRJ702 is 78 with seats that have a 30-31-in. pitch, the standard single-class configuration with a 31-in. pitch is 74. That capacity that is further reduced to 66 in a dual-class configuration—six seats in a premium cabin and 60 in the economy cabin—with those cabins having respective seat pitches of 39 in. and 31 in.

According to Bombardier’s marketing materials for the type, the CL-600-2D24-based CRJ900 increases the cabin length to 69 ft. 4 in. and volume to 2,974 ft.3, while maintaining the same height and maximum width as the CRJ700 series of airframes. Also increased on the CRJ900 is the cargo volume and weight of cargo that can be carried, with the former noted as being 594 ft.3 and the latter limited to 6,075 lb. In addition to the 90-seat maximum-capacity configuration, three other configuration options are advertised by Bombardier: a single-class, a dual-class and a triple-class layout. The single-class configuration is noted as being able to accommodate 88 seats with a 31-in. pitch, while the CRJ900’s dual-class configuration features nine seats in a premium cabin (with a 38-in. pitch) and 72 in an economy cabin (with a 31-in. pitch). Passenger capacity is further reduced in a triple-class configuration—which includes a business or first class as well as premium-economy and economy cabins—with the former cabin featuring 12 seats with a 39-in. pitch. The 64 seats accommodated in the premium and standard-economy cabins have seat pitches of 35 in. and 31 in., respectively.

The 104-seat maximum capacity of the CRJ1000—as well as the advertised 100-seat standard single-class configuration—are based on cabins fitted with the seats that have a 31-in. pitch. One possible dual-class configuration available for the CRJ1000 is promoted as accommodating 97 passengers, with nine of those passengers accommodated in a premium cabin with seats that have a 38-in. seat pitch, as well as 88 passengers in economy-class seats that have a 31-in. pitch. Regardless of the configuration, passengers on the CRJ1000 are seated in a cabin that has a length of 77 ft. 6 in. and a volume of 3,320 ft.3, with the width and aisle height of the CRJ700 and CRJ900 retained. In comparison to the CRJ900, the space available for cargo on the CRJ1000 is increased to 683 ft.3, with the maximum weight of cargo similarly increased to 7,180 lb.

In September 2017, Bombardier debuted an upgrade to the CRJ’s cabin marketed as the Atmosphere cabin, an upgrade that was launched by a June 2018 order from Delta Air Lines for 20 CRJ900s. When operated on behalf of Delta by the company’s regional carriers, its Atmosphere-equipped CRJ900s will have seating for 70 passengers in a two-class configuration. Promoted as setting “new standards of passenger experience in the regional-jet market segment,” the Atmosphere cabin includes improvements to the aisle, entrance area, in-seat power, lavatories, lighting and overhead bins. In terms of cabin space, airframes equipped with the Atmosphere cabin will feature “a wider aisle and a more open entrance.” Other aspects of the cabin that differentiate it include the largest windows in its class and LED mood lighting, with the latter promoted as adding “a touch of color throughout the cabin and complement[ing] airline branding.” From a storage perspective, the Atmosphere’s overhead bins are marketed as being able to “accommodate the largest number of roller bags of any aircraft in their category,” with the “[n]ewly introduced ‘wheels first’ business-class bins provid[ing] 50% more capacity than before.” In the economy-class cabin, the overhead bins are capable of fitting “oversized bags that are 40% larger than the typical airline dimensions.” Finally, passenger connectivity and entertainment features include internet connectivity and Wi-Fi streaming—the latter of which is can be utilized for “content such as music, movies and TV shows”—with passengers also able to charge their devices using in-seat power.

Avionics

Flights crews operating variants of the CRJ series do so using Collins Aerospace’s Pro Line 4 avionics, a suite that features a six-screen electronic flight instrument system (EFIS)/engine indication and crew-alerting system (EICAS). Also incorporated into the CRJ series’ Pro Line 4 installation is a traffic alert and collision-avoidance (TCAS) system, while the capabilities of the suite—on the CRJ700, CRJ900 and CRJ1000—include automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) Out, coupled vertical navigation (VNAV), Link 2000+ controller-pilot datalink communication (CPDLC), the ability to utilize satellite-based augmentation systems such as the wide-area augmentation system (WAAS) to conduct localizer performance with vertical guidance (LPV) approaches and the capability to perform required navigational performance (RNP) approaches to 0.3-nm accuracy. An avionics technology that is specific to the CRJ700, CRJ705, CRJ900 and CRJ1000 is Collins Aerospace’s HGS 4200 Dual Head-Up Guidance System (HGS). That technology enables those CRJ variants to perform instrument landing system (ILS) approaches to Category I, II and IIIa minimums, as well as enabling low-visibility takeoff operations (LVTO).

Mission and Performance

When the CRJ series was first launched, its range and speed were expected to “allow airlines to bypass hubs and open and exploit long, thin routes.” Compared to the turboprops used on regional routes at the time, it was anticipated that the initial versions of the CRJ would “cut trip times on existing regional flights by up to 50%.” In terms of their place in the market and the missions that they are best-suited to perform, Bombardier noted that the CRJ700 is “the lightest aircraft in its category”—a characteristic that is promoted as giving operators benefits in terms of efficiency, fuel burn and performance—while also being “ideal for opening up new routes.” The CRJ900 is marketed as giving operators “tremendous flexibility,” while also being “ideally suited for growing markets.” Finally, the largest CRJ variant, the CRJ1000, is advertised as having “the lowest seat-mile cost in the regional-jet market,” with the airframe consuming “up to 13% less fuel than its competitors.” From a cost perspective, the CRJ series is promoted as having “the best economics of any aircraft in its class,” as well as “offering up to a 10% cash operating cost advantage over competing jets.”

Except for the CL-600-2E25-based CRJ1000, all CRJ variants are certified to a maximum operating limit speed (MMO) of 0.85 Mach, a limitation that is reduced to 0.84 Mach for the CRJ1000. The CRJ100, CRJ200, CRJ440, CRJ700, CRJ900 and CRJ1000 are able to achieve the respective MMO between 31,400 ft. and 41,000 ft., while the CRJ705’s ability to fly at 0.85 Mach is limited to between 31,400 ft. and 34,000 ft., above which the MMO of that variant is reduced to 0.84 Mach. Beyond those maximum-operating limit speeds, Bombardier notes that that maximum cruise speed of the CRJ700 is 0.825 Mach, with the normal cruise speed being 0.78 Mach. The CRJ900 and CRJ1000 retain that normal cruise speed, while reducing the maximum cruise speed to 0.82 Mach. Even though they share the previously noted MMO, the CRJ100 and CRJ200 have the lowest cruise speeds, with a normal cruise speed of 0.74 Mach and a high-speed cruise speed of 0.81 Mach. In contrast to these slightly differing limitations, the maximum operating altitudes of the CL-600 series are common across all variants, with the maximum operating altitude for takeoff and landing limited to 10,000 ft., and the maximum operating altitude for the en route phase of flight being 41,000 ft. As is noted below, based on a weight of 225 lb. per passenger, the CRJ700 has a range of 1,400 nm, while the CRJ900 and CRJ1000 increase that performance figure to 1,550 nm and 1,650 nm, respectively. Conversely, the CRJ550 is promoted as having a range of 1,000 nm, while retaining the maximum and normal cruise speeds of the CRJ700.

Other variant-specific performance figures supplied by Bombardier include the takeoff and landing field lengths, with the former figure based on the maximum takeoff weight (MTOW), sea-level altitude and standard conditions. For the CRJ700, the takeoff field length of the base version is reported as being 4,975 ft., a figure that is increased to 5,265 ft. for the maximum-MTOW variant. In contrast to those differing takeoff performance figures, the landing field length is a common 5,040 ft. based on the conditions noted above, except that the MTOW is replaced by the maximum landing weight. Additionally, the respective takeoff and landing field lengths of the reduced-capacity and reduced-MTOW CRJ550 are 4,056 ft. and 4,710 ft.  The takeoff field lengths for the base and maximum-MTOW versions of the CRJ900 are 5,775 ft. and 6,360 ft., respectively, while the landing field lengths for those versions are 5,260 ft. and 5,355 ft. Finally, the respective takeoff field lengths for the base and maximum-MTOW versions of the CRJ1000 are further increased to 6,155 ft. and 6,955 ft., with that variant having a common landing field length of 5,740 ft.

Although the CRJ Package Freighter (PF) and Special Freighter (SF) retain the normal and high-speed cruise figures of passenger-configured CRJ airframes, the range and airfield performance of converted airplanes does differ. Assuming a 10,000-lb. payload, the CRJ100 ER-based CRJ100PF variant—airframes that are marketed as the CRJ100PF ER—is capable of a range of 1,816 nm, a figure that is decreased to 792 nm when the payload is increased to the 15,200-lb. maximum. Assuming the same payloads, the range of the CRJ100PF LR—those based on the CRJ200 LR airliner—is increased to 2,161 nm and 1,137 nm, respectively. The airfield performance figures for the CRJ100PF ER, based on the same conditions noted above, include a takeoff field length of 5,770 ft. and a landing field length 4,850 ft. That landing field length is common to all CRJs converted to package freighters, while the takeoff field length of the CRJ100PF LR is increased slightly to 6,285 ft. The takeoff field length of the CRJ200PF ER is 5,510 ft., while the CRJ200PF LR retains the same takeoff field length as the CRJ100PF LR, with those airframes being based on the CRJ200 ER and LR, respectively.

CRJs converted to Special Freighters exhibit the same differences in range and airfield performance as Package Freighters, with the CRJ100SF LR promoted as having a range—at the normal cruise speed and when carrying a 10,000-lb. payload—of 1,994 nm. When the payload is increased to the 14,840-lb. maximum, that variant’s range decreases to 1,063 nm. If operated at the high-speed cruise speed and loaded to the previously mentioned payloads, the respective ranges are decreased to 1,890 nm and 1,016 nm. Assuming the conditions noted above, the CRJ100SF LR has takeoff and landing field lengths of 6,290 ft. and 4,850 ft., respectively. The CRJ200SF LR, when operated at the normal cruise speed, has a range of 2,077 nm when carrying a 10,000-lb. payload, a figure that is decreased to 1,114 nm when loaded to that airframe’s aforementioned maximum payload capacity. When the CRJ200SF LR is operated at its high-speed cruise speed, those ranges are decreased to 1,976 nm and 1,062 nm. Finally, the CRJ200SF LR’s airfield performance figures include a takeoff field length of 6,020 ft. and a landing field length of 4,850 ft.

Variants

CL-600-2B19 Specifications

Type Designation

CL-600-2B19

(Regional Jet Series 100)

CL-600-2B19

(Regional Jet Series 440)

Commercial Designation

CRJ100

CRJ200

CRJ440

ER

LR

ER

LR

Maximum Capacity

50

44

Range (nm)

1,305

1,650

1,229

1,585

 

Engines (2x)

General Electric

CF34-3A1

CF34-3B1

CF34-3B1

Maximum Takeoff Weight (MTOW)(lb.)

53,000

51,000

53,000

Maximum Landing Weight (lb.)

47,000

Wingspan

69 ft. 7 in.

Wing Area (ft.2)

520.4

Length

87 ft. 10 in.

Height

20 ft. 5 in.

 

CL600-2C10 and -2C11 Specifications

Type Designation

CL-600-2C10

(Regional Jet

Series 700)

CL-600-2C10

(Regional Jet

Series 701)

CL-600-2C10

(Regional Jet

Series 702)

CL-600-2C11

(Regional Jet Series 550)

Commercial Designation

CRJ700

CRJ701

CRJ702

CRJ550

Maximum Capacity

68

70

78

50

Range (nm)

1,400

1,000

Engines (2x)

General Electric

CF34-8C1 or -8C5B1

CF34-8C5B1

Maximum Takeoff Weight (MTOW)(lb.)

72,750 (Base)/75,000 (Max)

65,000

Maximum Landing Weight (lb.)

67,000

61,000

Wingspan

76 ft. 3 in.

Wing Area (ft.2)

760

Length

106 ft. 1 in.

Height

24 ft. 10 in.

 

CL600-2D15, -2D24 and -2E25 Specifications

Type Designation

CL-600-2D15

(Regional Jet

Series 705)

CL-600-2D24

(Regional Jet

Series 900)

CL-600-2E25

(Regional Jet

Series 1000)

Commercial Designation

CRJ705

CRJ900

CRJ1000

Maximum Capacity

75

90

104

Range (nm)

2,344

1,550

1,650

Engines (2x)

General Electric

CF34-8C5 or -8C5A1

General Electric

CF34-8C5, -8C5A1 or -8C5A2

Maximum Takeoff Weight (MTOW)(lb.)

80,500 (Base)/82,500/84,500 (Max)

85,969 (Base)/

91,800 (Max)

Maximum Landing Weight (lb.)

73,500/75,100

81,500

Wingspan

81 ft. 7 in.

85 ft. 11 in.

Wing Area (ft.2)

765

833

Length

118 ft. 11 in.

128 ft. 5 in.

Height

24 ft. 7 in.

24 ft. 6 in.

CRJ100/CRJ200/CRJ440

From a passenger capacity, dimension and weight standpoint, the smallest variants of the CRJ series are the CRJ100, CRJ200 and CRJ440, with the latter having the lowest passenger capacity of any CRJ-series airframe. Although these airframes are powered by different variants of General Electric’s (GE) CF34 engine—the CF34-3A1 for the CRJ100 and the CF34-3B1 for the CRJ200 and CRJ440—both of those engine variants have the same normal and maximum takeoff thrust ratings (8,729 lb. and 9,220 lb., respectively), as well as an identical maximum continuous thrust-rating of 9,140 lb. As was previously noted, another commonality shared by these CRJs is that they are all based on a single type, the CL-600-2B19. However, it was it was nearly a decade after the first CRJ100 was delivered and entered service in 1992 when the first and only order for the reduced-capacity CRJ440 was placed by Northwest Airlines in July 2001. With regard to the development of the CRJ440, Northwest worked with Bombardier on the design “to customize modifications to meet [its] route network and market needs.” According to the Transport Canada Type Certificate Data Sheet (TCDS), the CRJ440—the CL-600-2B19 (Regional Jet Series 440)—“is identical to the Regional Jet Series 100 except for the number of occupants allowed.”

CRJ700

Following the CRJ100 and CRJ200, the CRJ700 was launched by Bombardier in early 1997, with the first flight of that variant taking place on May 27, 1999. Promoted as having “the lowest trip cost of any in-production regional jet,” the CRJ700 has a cash operating cost per seat that is 9% lower in comparison to in-production airplanes of the same category. The variants of GE’s CF34 engine that are certified to power the CRJ700, the -8C1 and -8C5B1, have maximum and normal thrust ratings of 13,790 lb. and 12,670 lb., respectively. Beyond the MTOW noted above, the CRJ700 is promoted as capable of carrying a payload of 18,055 lb., including 5,375 lb. of cargo.

CRJ550

On Feb. 6, 2019, Bombardier announced a new 50-seat type based on the CRJ700 that is designated the CRJ550, an airframe which is “the first triple-class 50-seat aircraft in the world” and “the only two-class small RJ flying” for a U.S. major airline. This variant of the CRJ series, which is designated the CL-600-2C11, entered service with GoJet Airlines—a regional carrier operating for United Airlines—on Oct. 27, 2019, from United’s Chicago hub. Following the entry into service, GoJet plans to have 50 CRJ550s flying by fall 2020. These airframes will be conversions of existing CRJ700s, including 25 airplanes currently operated by GoJet that are configured to accommodate 70 passengers (six in first class, 16 in United’s Economy Plus premium-economy section and 48 in economy seating). The other 25 CRJ550 airframes to be operated by GoJet “will come from within [United’s] regional-partner network.” Once converted to CRJ550s, these airframes increase first-class and Economy Plus seating to 10 and 20, respectively, while economy-cabin seating decreases to 20. In contrast to the above-noted MTOWs of the CRJ700, CRJ701 and CRJ702, the CRJ550 has an MTOW of 65,000 lb., a weight that will ensure compliance with the United’s contract with its pilot union. Although the reconfiguration of the CRJ700’s cabin to a less-dense layout did not require any action on Bombardier’s part, the reduced MTOW noted above did require regulatory approval, with the CRJ550 being “a 50-seat, 65,000-lb. CRJ700.” Despite the cabin modifications to these CRJ airframes, they will not feature the aforementioned Atmosphere cabin. In addition to enabling airlines to replace aging 50-seat RJs, the CRJ550 also allows operators such as United to continue to serve smaller markets that larger airplanes cannot profitably serve, as well as allowing them to “better match their onboard products, including premium-class seating, to their mainline operation.”

CRJ705

Although, they have distinct type designations—CL-600-2D15 and -2D24—the CRJ705 and CRJ900 have common dimensions and MTOWs. As noted above, the former variant is distinguished from the latter by its reduced seating capacity of 75. Another way that the CRJ705 can be distinguished from the CRJ900 is based on its airline operators, with Air Canada Express carrier Jazz Aviation LP being the only customer for the reduced-capacity derivative after US Airways backed out of an order for 25 airplanes. The first delivery of a CRJ705 to Jazz Aviation took place on May 27, 2005, following a September 2004 order for 15 airframes. However, in April 2016 Jazz Aviation owner Chorus Aviation announced that the company’s 16 CRJ705s would be reconfigured to add an extra seat—for a total of 76 seats, including 12 in business class and 64 in economy—which would also result in those airframes being redesignated as CRJ900s.

CRJ900

Launched in July 2000 at the Farnborough International Air Show, the CRJ900 is a “minimum-stretch derivative of the 70-seat CRJ700.” In fact, the prototype CRJ900 airframe, Serial No. 10001, was an existing CRJ700 that was stretched with two fuselage plugs (a 90-in. plug forward of the wing and a 72-in. plug aft of it). That airframe made the CRJ900’s first flight on Feb. 21, 2001, from Mirabel Airport, with the type subsequently entering service with U.S.-based regional carrier Mesa Airlines in January 2003. Despite differences in the passenger-seating capacity of the CRJ705 and CRJ900, both the CL-600-2D15 and -2D24 are certified to be powered by the CF34-8C5 and -8C5A1, engine variants that have a maximum takeoff thrust rating of 14,510 lb. The payload capacity of the CRJ900 varies depending upon whether a particular airframe is certified to the base or maximum MTOW, with the former able to carry 21,840 lb. of payload and the latter increasing that weight to 22,590 lb. Also included in that payload figure is the ability to accommodate up to 6,075 lb. of cargo. Overall, because of the airframe’s 90-seat capacity, when “combined with enhancements that result in 5.5% lower fuel burn,” Bombardier promotes the CRJ900 as having “the best economics in its class.” Specific figures released by the manufacturer state that the airframe has a 7% advantage when compared to in-production airplanes in the same category.

CRJ1000

The CRJ1000 is “a minimum-change design evolution from the CRJ900,” with economics that are promoted as being 10% better than other in-production airplanes in the same category. The size increases of the CRJ1000—in comparison to the CRJ900—include a fuselage that has been stretched by 9 ft. 6 in., as well as a wing area that was made larger through the addition of a 7.5% trailing-edge extension and a 26-in. wing-tip extension. Beyond favorable economic comparisons to other jets in its class, Bombardier also promoted this variant as being the “greenest” of the CRJ series, with its CO2emissions described as “setting a new standard for 100-seat-class regional jets.” The CRJ1000—launched by Bombardier on Feb. 19, 2007, with the goal of meeting “the requirements of regional airlines for increased capacity and lower seat-mile costs”—made its first flight from Mirabel on Sep. 3, 2008, with that flight performed by airframe Serial No. 19991. Following a flight-test program that accumulated approximately 1,400 hr. and was largely performed at the Bombardier’s Global Flight-Testing Center in Wichita, Kansas, the CRJ1000 was certified by Transport Canada in November 2010. Subsequently, the first deliveries of the airframe took place in December 2010, with Spanish carrier Air Nostrum and French carrier Brit Air the first operators to take delivery of this CRJ variant. The certified engines for the CL-600-2E25 include the previously mentioned CF34-8C5 and -8C5A1, as well as the -8C5A2. That latter engine variant has a maximum takeoff thrust rating of 14,510 lb. and a normal takeoff thrust rating of 14,050 lb., as well as the ability to maintain up to 13,680 lb. of thrust continuously.

Corporate-Configured CRJ Airframes

Supplementing the airline-configured variants of the CRJ series are others that are configured for corporate and freight operations, with the Challenger Special Edition (SE), 800, 850, 870 and 890 being the examples of the former. In May 2005, Bombardier launched a family of corporate shuttles dubbed Bombardier Corporate Shuttle Solutions, a series that included the Challenger 850, 870 and 890. The Challenger SE, 800 and 850 are based on the CRJ200, while the Challenger 870 and 890 are based on the CRJ700 and CRJ900, respectively. According to the Transport Canada TCDS for the CL-600, Challenger 850 is the “marketing designation for CL-600-2B19[s] delivered in a green configuration and subsequently finished with an approved interior.” When airframes delivered in a green configuration incorporate a modification that blocks certain emergency exits, they are able to accommodate a maximum of 22 occupants, including 19 passengers. Beyond the information available in the TCDS, Bombardier states that three configurations are available for the Challenger 850, 870 and 890—the standard, split and deluxe cabins—with all three airframes featuring “stand-up cabins, a flat floor and a minimum 31 in. between seats.”

With respect to the cabin configurations of the CRJ-based corporate jets, standard configuration features “CRJ economy-class seating throughout, with four seats per row.” In that type of layout, the Challenger 850 accommodates the same 50 passengers as an airline-configured airframe, while being promoted as capable of a range of 1,537 nm. In the same configuration, the Challenger 870 can seat 70 passengers and has a range of 1,923 nm, with the Challenger 890 increasing that seating capacity to 90 but decreasing the range to 1,721 nm. The second of the three configuration options, the split cabin, is divided between the forward part of the cabin that “offers executive-type seats and cabin furnishings” and “CRJ economy-class seating placed four abreast in the aft cabin.” As the density of passenger seating decreases, the range of these airframes increases, with a split-cabin configured Challenger 850 having seating for 32 passengers—six in the forward portion of the cabin, as well as 26 in the aft economy seating—and a range of 1,970 nm. In the split-cabin configuration, the Challenger 870 has a capacity of 44 (eight in forward cabin and 36 in economy seating) and a range of 2,235 nm, while the Challenger 890 is able to accommodate 52 passengers (12 forward and 40 aft) and fly “up to 2,031 nm.” The least-dense configuration offered for corporate-configured CRJs is the deluxe configuration, with that configuration featuring “business-class seating throughout with three seats per row.” In that layout, the seating capacities of the Challenger 850, 870 and 890 are reduced to 27, 42 and 52, with the latter two variants retaining the ranges of airframes configured in the split-cabin layout. Even though the ranges of the Challenge 870 and 890 remain the same in the least-dense configuration, the range of the Challenger 850 is increased by more than 250 nm to 2,232 nm.

CRJ Freighters

As noted above, existing CRJ100 and CRJ200 airframes can also be converted into freighters—including the CRJ100/200SF and CRJ100/200PF—with both conversions done by third-party maintenance providers via supplemental type certificates (STC). According to Bombardier, the advantages of CRJ100s and CRJ200s converted to package freighters—in comparison to turboprop airplanes—are the CRJ’s greater range and speed, with those advantages touted as allowing operators to more efficiently “serve long, thin routes.” Regardless of whether a package-freighter conversion is based on a CRJ100 or CRJ200, the airframe is divided into six zones with the total volume and maximum payload—1,764 ft.3 and 15,200 lb., respectively—remaining the same.

Described by Bombardier as having “the large cargo door conversion,” the changes made to CRJ Special Freighters include the “installation of a 94 X 77-[in.] cargo door on the left side of the fuselage.” Beyond the installation of that cargo door, other notable changes made to CRJ Special Freighters include the installation of a 9g rigid cargo/smoke barrier, courier seating—with one seat being standard and a second available as an option—and interior lighting, as well as the “modification of the main deck to a Class E cargo compartment” and the replacement of the existing cabin windows with aluminum window plugs. Once an airframe is converted—the conversion is done under an STC, with the work performed by Aeronautical Engineers, Inc. (AEI)—both the CRJ100 SF and CRJ200 SF have eight positions to accommodate pallets or containers, as well as the ability to “carry containerized or bulk cargo up to 6.7 tons.” When carrying eight 61.5 X 88 X 68-in. containers, the main-deck usable volume for both variants is 1,452 ft.3, increasing to 1,864 ft.3 when eight pallets are accommodated on the main deck. Subject to model and airplane weight limits, the maximum weight of the payload carried on the main deck is 14,480 lb. Beyond that main-deck payload, the special freighter versions of the CRJ200, the CRJ200SF ER and CRJ200SF LR, retain the same MTOW and maximum landing weights as passenger-configured airplanes. The first delivery of the CRJ Special Freighter, a CRJ200SF to Gulf & Caribbean Cargo, Inc., was announced on Dec. 21, 2016.

Environmental Performance

From an environmental perspective, Bombardier promotes the CRJ series as having the lowest environmental impact when compared to other airplanes in its category. Specifically, the airframe’s “light weight and efficient aerodynamics provide the best fuel burn and lowest greenhouse gas emissions in its class.” The CRJ700’s margin to the Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection’s CAEP/6 standards varies between 28.8% and 97.2%, with the former figure applying to the airframe’s margin to the CAPE/6 nitrogen oxide (NOX) emission standard and the latter referring to the unburned hydrocarbons (UHC) standard. Furthermore, this CRJ variant has a margin of 60.5% to the CAPE/6 carbon monoxide (CO) standard, as well as a 75.9% margin to the smoke emissions requirement. For the CRJ900, the respective margins are 26.6% to the NOX standard, 60.8% to the smoke standard, 63.7% to the CO requirement and 97.6% with reference to UHC. The CRJ1000 has a NOX margin of 25.6%, a smoke margin of 52.8%, a CO margin of 64.8% and a 97.7% margin for UHC. On the basis of fuel and CO2 emissions per seat, the CRJ700 is promoted as being 11% better than in-production airplanes of the same category, as well as 30-50% better than out-of-production airframes. The same comparisons made for the CRJ900 results in that airframe besting in-production competitors by 8%, while the CRJ1000 increases that figure to 13%. Bombardier states that these larger CRJ variants also retain the same 30-50% improvement in greenhouse gas emissions in comparison to out-of-production competitors. Beyond greenhouse gas emissions, the company also states that the CRJ700, CRJ900 and CRJ1000 have margins of 6.8, 7.5 and 4.7 effective perceived noise level in decibels (EPNdB) below Stage 4 standards.

Program Status/Operators

Bombardier and MHI RJ Aviation Group (MHIRJ) assembled the in-production CRJ-series airframes at their manufacturing facility at Mirabel Airport in Quebec, where the bulk of production flight-testing activities also take place.

Bombardier announced on June 25, 2019, that it had reached an agreement with MHI for the sale of the CRJ program. Under the agreement, MHI acquired the airworthiness certification support, asset management, engineering, maintenance, marketing, refurbishment and sales and support “activities for the CRJ series aircraft, including the related services and support network, as well as the type certificates.” The deal between the two companies was struck because “Mitsubishi hopes the CRJ’s aftermarket network will boost [the company’s] SpaceJet program by enhancing its support capabilities.” The announcement of the agreement noted that Bombardier would retain its Mirabel facility where CRJ production occurs, with the company also producing the “current CRJ backlog on behalf of MHI.” Because the purchase of the CRJ program by MHI was done to support that company’s own RJ program, the announcement of the sale also noted that CRJ production would end following the delivery of the current backlog of airplanes, with the production and delivery of the final CRJ expected to take place in the “second half of 2020.” Following the closing of the sale—which was announced by Bombardier and MHI on June 1, 2020—MHI launched MHIRJ, an entity described as providing “service and support for the global regional aircraft industry, including the CRJ series aircraft.” The final CRJ airframe—Serial No. 15499 and registered as N840SK—was delivered to U.S. regional carrier SkyWest Airlines on Feb. 26, 2021.

References

  • AWIN Article Archives
  • Bombardier and MHIRJ Commercial Materials
  • Transport Canada TCDS (CRJ)
Channel
Commercial Aviation
Market Indicator Code
Commercial
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10
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2
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640