Canadair (Bombardier) CRJ-200
Regional-Business twin jet engine airliner, Canada
Archive Photos 1
Canadair (Bombardier) CRJ-200 Regional-Business twin jet engine airliner at LAX on 12/01/2007 (John Shupek photo © 2007 by Skytamer Images
Series Overview 2
The Bombardier CRJ-100 and CRJ-200 are a family of regional airliners manufactured by Bombardier, and based on the Canadair Challenger Business jet. These regional jet models were formerly known as the Canadair CRJ-100 and CRJ-200.
The aircraft was based on the Canadair Challenger design, which was purchased by Canadair from Bill Lear in 1976.
The wide fuselage of the Challenger which seats 2 passengers on each side of the aisle suggested early on to Canadair officials that it would be straightforward to stretch the aircraft to accommodate more seats, and there was a plan for a Challenger 610E, which would have had seating for 24 passengers. That lengthening did not occur, the effort being canceled in 1981, but the idea did not disappear.
In 1987, studies began for a much more ambitious stretched configuration, leading to the formal launch of the Canadair Regional Jet program in the spring of 1989. The “Canadair” name was retained despite the fact that Bombardier had bought out the company. The first of three development machines for the initial CRJ-100 performed its first flight on 10 May 1991, though the first prototype (C-FCRJ) was lost in a spin mishap on July 26, 1993 near Wichita, Kansas. The type obtained certification in late 1992, with initial delivery to customers late in that year.
The CL-600 design was stretched 5.92 meters (19 feet 5 inches) to create the CRJ-100, with fuselage plugs fore and aft of the wing, two more emergency exit doors, plus a reinforced and modified wing. Typical seating was 50 passengers, the maximum load being 52 passengers. The CRJ-100 featured a Collins ProLine 4 avionics suite, Collins weather radar, GE CF34-3A1 turbofans with 41.0 kN (4,180 kgp / 9,220 lbf), new wings with extended span, more fuel capacity, and improved landing gear to handle the higher weights. It was followed by the CRJ-100 ER subvariant with 20% more range, and the CRJ-100 LR subvariant with 40% more range than the standard CRJ-100. The CRJ-100 SE sub-variant was produced to more closely meet the needs of corporate and executive operators.
The CRJ-200 is identical to the CRJ-100 model except for more efficient engines.
Pinnacle Airlines had operated some with 44 seats, designated as CRJ-440, with closets in the forward areas of the passenger cabin though these were converted to 50 seat airplanes. These modifications were designed to allow operations under their major airline contract “scope clause” which restricted major airlines’ connection carriers from operating equipment carrying 50 or more passengers to guard against usurpation of Air Line Pilots Association and Allied Pilots Association pilots’ union contract; these scope clauses have been since relaxed when union contracts were re-written between unions and the three remaining U.S. legacy carriers. Similarly, Comair's fleet of 40-seat CRJ-200s were sold at a discounted price to discourage Comair from purchasing the less expensive and smaller Embraer 135.
There is also a CRJ-200 freighter version which is designated CRJ-200 PF (Package Freighter) which was developed in cooperation with Cascade Aerospace on the request of West Air Sweden.
Several models of the CRJ have been produced, ranging in capacity from 40 to 50 passengers. The Regional Jet designations are marketing names and the official designation is CL-600-2B19.
Improvements and Production 2
Since the project was terminated and production stopped, no new CRJ-200/100 have been commercially produced, but over the years maintenance and newer technologies have added to the planes. Some of the larger versions such as the CRJ-700 has begun the processes of adding Wi-Fi access on board the aircraft, but no project has begun for the CRJ-200/100 to implement Wi-Fi compatibility.
Retirement trend 2
U.S. airlines are accelerating retirement of these 50-seat regional jets because rising fuel prices were making them uneconomical to operate. The retirements are also reducing the value of their parts. Airlines are slowly replacing the jet with more modern aircraft like the Embraer E-175 and the CRJ-700.
As of July 2015 a total of 563 CRJ-100 and CRJ-200 aircraft (all variants) are in airline service.
Major operators include SkyWest Airlines (167), Expressjet (78), Endeavor Air (43), Air Wisconsin (71), PSA Airlines (35), Jazz Aviation (25), RusLine (17), Air Nostrum (10), SA Express (10), and other operators with fewer aircraft of the type such as United Express and American Eagle.
Specifications CRJ-200 ER/LR 2