Though the name of this commercial airliner sounds like a military aircraft, it actually is a Canadian manufactured plane (the CRJ stands for Canadian Regional Jet). Most of us pay no attention to the model of the plane we fly in unless it is hyped by an airline as being a superior flying experience. (But regular travelers know better.) As you browse through this list, pay attention to some of the dates. The Bombardier CRJ actually has an excellent reputation even though it has been replaced by more modern versions. It’s worth mentioning that those “upgrades” still have the major CRJ 200 aeronautic features, so CRJ was doing something right with the design of the 200 model.
1. The CRJ 200 seats 4 across – two seats per aisle.
If this seems odd to you for a commercial plane, there are several reasons for this. First, the CRJ 200 is a regional jet, so it lands at regional airports with a maximum of 50 passengers. There are 44 seat models, but the idea is the same. Those seats are nothing like the sardine style seats most of us who fly coach are used to.
2. Cabin air quality is of the highest level.
How high is high? It boasts the best in the airline industry. It is equipped to provide 100 percent fresh air – no recycling back into the cabin allowed. This issue of recycled air (among other things) is one of those things frequent flyers get so used to it’s easy to ignore.
3. The Bombardier was so popular with airlines, Northwest Airlines ordered 124 of them early in 1999.
That order, which requested 54 to be delivered as soon as possible and another 70 with an option, was the largest in the company’s history. The total price for the planes was $1.3 billion. Other airlines would soon be on board with Northwest forcing the company to significantly ramp up its production.
4. The Northwest order had an international impact on regional airline manufacturers.
It is often considered to be a huge business strategy error to give your competitors your business. Yet this is exactly what happened with CRJ as they couldn’t meet the demand for orders. Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer, which makes an outstanding aircraft of its own, ramped up its own production of regional jets to keep up with the demand.
5. The Bombardier CRJ 200 comes in several variants.
There is the CRJ200PF designated for flying package freight, the CRJ200LR which is the long range mode, and the CRJ200SF which they converted from a passenger plane to meet the demand for freight airliners. This should make clear that the Bombardier was not only preferred by passengers, but by companies who needed regional air transport to conduct their business.
6. The airplane has a turning radius of 75 feet.
This is almost crazy, that you can have an airplane do a 180 degree turn in just 75 feet. As airline traffic at all airports dramatically increased during the 90’s, the CRJ 200 was valued for this easily overlooked feature.
7. It is amazingly quiet despite using 2 GE CF34-3B1 turbofan engines for power.
Very few commercial airplanes can match the aircrafts super low noise level. When combining take off, approach, and sideline noise levels, the CRJ 200 is almost unmatched. Keep in mind this airplane was built back in the days when plane emissions, not noise, was the environmental focus.
8. Its excellence in environmental impact extends to those engine emissions.
The manufacturer designed an aircraft whose engine emissions would be far below the minimum standards set by governmental regulations, even when air pollution was a hot topic for industries of all types. Those standards are still in place today.
9. The number of Bombardier CRJ 200s that have been built since 2006 is zero.
There really is not much criticism for the aircraft from passengers and businesses, so this decision to shut down production seems to have more to it. And it does. The manufacturer apparently couldn’t manage its success and ran into some severe financial problems.
10. An underlying reason for its demise has technical reasons as well.
Most people don’t understand that jet powered aircraft of all sizes need to have their engines overhauled on a regular basis. Yet even with this, the engines can simply wear out to the point they are no longer safe to fly. A number of factors, including the total number of annual flight hours the aircraft logs, determines how quickly the engines will be declared unsafe.
The Bombardier CRJ 200 has a storied history, and most people would prefer to be sitting 4 across instead of 6 across. It seems that being popular isn’t all what people make it out to be.
Written by Garrett Parker
Read more posts by Garrett Parker