MIAMI – Today in Aviation, the Bombardier CRJ700, the first in the Bombardier’s CRJ-series, took to the skies for the first time in 1999. The series would later include the CRJ-900 and CRJ-1000 aircraft.

According to Collin’s/Jane’s Civil Aircraft, the CRJ700 was initially codenamed the CRJ-X, and was designed as a stretch version of the baseline Canadair RJ100. The original RJ100 seated 50 passengers; the new CRJ-X could seat 70.

The CRJ700 also featured a new wing with leading-edge slants, an expanded fuselage, and improved versions of GE’s CF34 turbofans. The aircraft’s FAA Type Certificate designation is the CL-600-2C10.

An Air France Hop Bombardier CRJ700 taxiing to the runway. Air Brit, which is now a part of Air France Hop, was the CRJ-700’s first operator. PC: Alberto Cucini @ac_avphoto

Bombardier CRJ700 Competition

The original RJ100 had virtually no competition and replaced many aging turboprops including the Fokker 28 and DC-9. The CRJ700, however, would be stepping into the ring with the Embraer 145 and 170 for dominance in the regional jet market.

At one point, the manufacturer Short Brothers (also called Shorts) was poised to launch their own regional jet: the FJX. However, as described in John Major: The Autobiography, Bombardier would purchase Shorts on June 7, 1989. Shorts would end up building the fuselage for the RJ100.

A comparison between Bombardier CRJ700 (top) and CRJ900 (bottom). Photo: Klever – own work (both pictures), Public Domain

Bombardier CRJ700 Service Launch

Two years following the CRJ700’s maiden voyage, the plane entered service with Brit Air (DB), a former regional airline based in Brittany, France that has since merged with Air France Hop (A5).

As of 2020, SkyWest Airlines (OO) utilizes the most CRJ700 aircraft with 85 in their fleet. The St. George, Utah-based carrier also has 29 orders in place. OO operates regional flights in North America on behalf of Alaska Airlines (AS), American Airlines (AA), Delta Air Lines (DL), and United Airlines (UA).

Featured image: The CRJ700 was introduced by Brit Air in 2001. Photo: Eric Salard – F-GRZA, CC BY-SA 2.0