Bombardier CRJ550 / CRJ700 / CRJ705 / CRJ900 / CRJ1000

The Bombardier CRJ (Canadian Regional Jet) is a family of regional jet airliners that were designed and manufactured by Canadian transportation conglomerate Bombardier (formerly Canadair) between 1999 and 2020. Their design was derived from the smaller CRJ100 and 200 airliners, the other members of the Bombardier CRJ aircraft family. The CRJ program was acquired by the Japanese corporation Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in 2020, which ended production of the aircraft.

During the 1990s, Bombardier initiated development on the CRJ-X, a program to produce enlarged derivatives of its popular CRJ100/200 family. Officially launched in 1997, the CRJ700’s maiden flight took place on 27 May 1999; it was soon followed by the stretched CRJ900 variant. Several additional variants of the type were subsequently introduced, including the elongated CRJ1000 and the CRJ550 and CRJ705, which were modified to comply with scope clauses. Competitors included the British Aerospace 146, the Embraer E-Jet family, the Fokker 70, and the Fokker 100.

In Bombardier’s lineup, the CRJ Series was formerly marketed alongside a family of larger jets, the CSeries (now majority-owned by Airbus and marketed as the Airbus A220), and a twin-turboprop, the QSeries (now owned by De Havilland Canada and marketed as the Dash 8). During the late 2010s, Bombardier sought to sell off several of its aircraft programs. The CRJ program was acquired by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in a deal that closed 1 June 2020. Bombardier continued to manufacture aircraft at the Mirabel facility until the order backlog was completed in December 2020. Mitsubishi will continue to manufacture parts for existing CRJ operators, but currently does not plan to sell or build any new CRJ aircraft, originally planning to focus instead on their SpaceJet aircraft, for which development has now also ceased.

CRJ700

Design work on the CRJ700 by Bombardier started in 1995, and the program was officially launched in January 1997. The CRJ700 is a stretched derivative of the CRJ200. The CRJ700 features a new wing with leading-edge slats and a stretched and slightly widened fuselage, with a lowered floor. Its first flight took place on 27 May 1999. The aircraft model is listed as CL-600-2C10 on the TCCA, FAA, and EASA Type Certificates. The CRJ700 first entered commercial service with Brit Air in 2001.

Seating ranges from 63 to 78. The CRJ700 was built in three variants, all of which are listed on the TCCA Type Certificate: Regional Jet Series 700, Series 701, and Series 702. The Regional Jet Series 700 is limited to 68 passengers, the 701 to 70 passengers, and the 702 to 78 passengers. The CRJ700 also has three fuel/weight options – standard, ER, and LR. The ER version has an increase in fuel capacity and maximum weight, which in turn increases the range. The LR increases those values further. The executive version is marketed as the Challenger 870. The CRJ700 directly competes with the Embraer 170, which typically seats 70 passengers.

The early-built aircraft were equipped with two General Electric CF34-8C1 engines, but later-built aircraft are now equipped as standard with the -8C5 model, which is essentially an uprated 8C1. Most airlines have replaced the older-model engines with the newer model, while a few have kept the older -8C1 engines in their fleet.

Maximum speed is Mach 0.85 (903 km/h; 488 kn) at a maximum altitude of 12,500 m (41,000 ft). Depending upon payload, the CRJ700 has a range up to 3,620 km (2,250 mi) with original engines, and a new variant with CF34-8C5 engines has a range of up to 4,660 km (2,900 mi).

CRJ550

On 6 February 2019, Bombardier launched the CRJ550 Regional Jet Series 550, based on the CRJ700, with 50 seats in three classes. The launch customer, United Airlines, ordered 50 aircraft configured with 10 first-class, 20 Economy Plus, and 20 economy seats. The aircraft are operated under the United Express brand by regional partner GoJet Airlines. To comply with scope clauses in US pilot contracts, the CRJ550 is limited on the TCCA and FAA TCDS to 50 passengers and a lower maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) than the CRJ700, down from 75,000 to 65,000 lb. Due to the lower MTOW, it has a lower maximum landing weight (MLW). It received TCCA and FAA type certification in the second half of 2019. The aircraft model is listed as CL-600-2C11 on the TCCA and FAA Type Certificates (Bombardier or MHIRJ have not pursued validation by EASA), and the variant name is listed as Regional Jet Series 550. The initial 50 aircraft were sourced by converting existing CRJ700s into CRJ550s, rather than being newly constructed. Each converted aircraft has an added supplemental aircraft identification plate next to the original aircraft identification plate, to redesignate the aircraft model as a CL-600-2C11 (Regional Jet Series 550). On 7 August 2019, United Airlines’ regional partner GoJet Airlines took delivery of the aircraft and began with a crew familiarization flight to Chicago-O’Hare International Airport (ORD).

CRJ900

The CRJ900 Regional Jet Series 900 is a stretched 76– to 90-seat version of the CRJ700. Internally designated as the RJX, the first CRJ900 (C-FRJX) was modified from the prototype CRJ700 by adding longer fuselage plugs fore and aft of the wings. It was later converted into the prototype CRJ1000 by replacing the fuselage plugs with longer plugs. The CRJ900 also features strakes located at the rear of the plane. The CRJ900 competes with the Embraer 175, and is more efficient per seat-mile, according to Bombardier. Mesa Air Group was the launch customer for the CRJ900 painted in America West livery. The aircraft model is listed as CL-600-2D24 on the TCCA, FAA, and EASA Type Certificates, and the variant name is listed as Regional Jet Series 900.

The wing is wider with added leading-edge slats, the tail is redesigned with more span and anhedral. The cabin floor has been lowered 2 in (5 cm), which gains outward visibility from the windows in the cabin, as the windows become closer to eye-level height. The cabin’s recirculation fan aids in cooling and heating. The environmental packs have a target temperature instead of a hot-cold knob. The auxiliary power unit is a Honeywell RE220, which supplies much more air to the AC packs and has higher limits for starting and altitude usage.

The aircraft features two GE CF34-8C5 engines, 59.4 kN (13,400 lbf) thrust with APR. The engines are controlled by FADEC digital engine control instead of control cables and a fuel-control unit. In typical service, the CRJ900 can cruise 8–10,000 ft higher with a slightly higher fuel burn and an average true airspeed of 450–500 knots, a significant improvement over its predecessor. Its maximum ground takeoff weight is 84,500 lb.

In 2018, the CRJ900’s list price was $48 million, while its market value was $24M; reportedly, most customers are paying around $20–22M and the American Airlines order for 15 was at below $20M. A six-year old aircraft of 2012 was worth less than $14M and it was to fall by 30% in 2021.

CRJ705

The CRJ705 Regional Jet Series 705 is based on the CRJ900, featuring a business-class cabin and a reduced maximum seating capacity to allow operation with regional airlines. The CRJ705 is limited to 75 passengers. Some regional airlines have scope clauses with their major airlines that limit the maximum passenger capacity of aircraft they operate. The Air Canada Pilots Association negotiated a scope agreement with Air Canada limiting the maximum seating capacity of any jet aircraft at Air Canada Express to 75 seats. Air Canada Jazz was the launch customer for this aircraft in 2005 with 10 Executive Class and 65 Economy Class seats, all fitted with personal audio/video-on-demand systems. The TCCA and FAA Type Certificate designation of the CRJ705 is the CL-600-2D15. Jazz Aviation, a subsidiary of Chorus Aviation, operated 16 CRJ705s on behalf of Air Canada and was the only operator of this version. On 26 April 2016, Jazz Aviation announced that existing CRJ705 aircraft in operation would be converted to CRJ900s with 76 seats. As of late February 2018, all CRJ705s have been reconfigured with 12 Business Class and 64 Economy Class seats, and added supplemental aircraft identification plates to redesignate the aircraft model as a CL-600-2D24 (Regional Jet Series 900).

CRJ1000

On 19 February 2007, Bombardier launched the development of the CRJ1000 Regional Jet Series 1000, previously designated CRJ900X, as a stretched CRJ900, with up to 100 seats. The CRJ1000 completed its first production flight on 28 July 2009 in Montreal; the entry into service was planned for the first quarter of 2010. A month after the first flight, however, a fault in the rudder controls forced the flight-test program to be grounded; the program was not resumed until February 2010, and deliveries were projected to begin by January 2011. Brit Air and Air Nostrum were the launch customers for the CRJ1000.

Bombardier Aerospace announced on 10 November 2010 that its 100-seat CRJ1000 was awarded aircraft Type Certificates from Transport Canada and the European Aviation Safety Agency, allowing for deliveries to begin. On 14 December 2010, Bombardier began CRJ1000 deliveries to Brit Air and Air Nostrum. On 23 December 2010, it was announced that the Federal Aviation Administration had also awarded a type certificate, allowing the CRJ1000 to operate in US airspace. It has a separate type rating. Bombardier states that it offers better performance and a higher profit per seat than the competing Embraer E-190. The aircraft model is listed as CL-600-2E25 on the TCCA, FAA, and EASA Type Certificates, and the variant name is listed as Regional Jet Series 1000.

In 2018, a new CRJ1000 discounted price was $24.8M, a 2015 model is valued $22.0M, a 2010 one is worth $15.5M for a $155,000 monthly lease, and it would be $12.0M in 2021 for a $145,000 monthly lease, while its D Check costs $800,000 and its engine overhaul costs $0.9 to 2.4M.

Manufacturer: Bombardier Regional Aviation

First flight: 27 May 1999

Years of production: 1999—2020

Production: 924 units

Length: 36.2 m

Wingspan: 7.5 m

Height: 24.9 m

Crew: 2

Passenger capacity: 50—104 seats

Powerplant: 2× GE CF34-8C5B1

Max speed: 876 km/h (473 kn; 544 mph)

Ceiling: 41,000 ft (12,479 m)

Range: 1400 nmi (2593 km; 1600 mi)

Weight: 44,245 lb (20,069 kg)

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