Guess who’s 30 years old today? May 14, 1991, was the first flight of the Canadair Regional Jet (CRJ). Here’s the Press Release from that memorable day.
The PR notes: “The Canadair Regional Jet is the world’s only twin-engined jetliner in the under-100 seat class and the lowest-cost jetliner in production. This unique market niche, developed by Canadair, is expected to generate a demand for up to 1,000 aircraft in the next 10 years.”
Little did Canadair realize what they had unleashed! There were nine variants of this size and three stretches followed. The stretches alone generated nearly 850 deliveries. In total 1,954 CRJs were delivered. The CRJ created a new industry (and built up Bombardier) and its success brought Embraer into the regional jet business.
During its first 100 days of operational service, the CRJ100 performed 1,237 flights at 99% dispatch reliability and fuel economy was 8% better than projected.
Canada has an amazing aerospace history offering disruptive aircraft. Another fine example from Canada is the DeHavilland Beaver. It is the only aircraft to have been powered by a radial, then a turboprop, and now an electric motor. Today Canadians can stand a bit taller. Happy Birthday, CRJ.