CRJ200 Airline Pilot

The personal experiences, thoughts of an CRJ captain


CRJ200 – The Beginning

Posted by Jeffrey on September 7, 2008

Bombardier Canadair CRJ200

Bombardier Canadair CRJ200

In the late 1980’s, there was a paradigm shift in airplane utilization. The major airlines realized that smaller markets had to be served and that their heavy metal couldn’t land at these smaller airports OR that is wasn’t economically feasible to send one of their heavy metal airplanes into the small airports and fly away with only a few passengers. Enter the regional airlines growth phase in the aviation community.

Regional (a.k.a. Feeder) airlines had existed for awhile but they were mostly turboprops, basically jet engines (turbine engines) with a propeller. Highly efficient but loud, slow, restricted to lower altitudes and perceived as dangerous. The general public didn’t like them much for these reasons but tolerated them as a means to get where they needed and wanted to go.

Bombardier designed and built the CRJ200 as a response to this new demand for jet airplanes that could do the short hauls and eventually fairly longer trips. The CRJ200’s first flight was in May 1991.

It is a fifty-seat airplane that has a wide-body fuselage with four-across seating, a quiet cabin, that is more comfortable and faster than any turboprop and is capable of maintaining a cruise speed of up to 0.81 Mach. The aircraft’s maximum operating altitude is 41,000 feet MSL. Its maximum operating range is specific to the aircraft model but the CRJ200 aircraft with 50 passengers onboard is capable of ranges up to 2,005 nautical miles (nm) when flown at a normal cruise speed (0.74 Mach).The CRJ200 aircraft is powered by the CF34-3B1 powerplant which easily meets the most stringent of the FAA’s rating for aircraft noise as defined by FAR Part 36 Stage 3 requirements.

I think the CRJ200 is a good airplane but is getting a little outdated. Though most airplanes have the 3B1 powerplants, they are still underpowered at altitude and if the ISA deviation is too great and you start getting into the upper flight levels, you will definitely see you climb performance decrease to about 500 feet-per-minute. My only other two complaints about the CRJ200 is: 1) the lavatory is in the back of the cabin, and 2) the overhead storage spaces are too small. The Embrear regional jets got the lav and storage issues sorted out but they suffer in other respects.

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