Recently a friend of mine emailed me about the differences between the Embraer 145 Regional Jet versus the Canadair CRJ700 Regional Jet. He was going to be traveling on a CRJ700 later in the year and was also curious if I had ever flown one of these Canadian creations. Being that I know this guy pretty well, I sent him a slightly sassy and humorous email response that you can enjoy below!
So you want to know about the CRJ700, eh? Which part specifically? The fact that the engines are attached with Gorilla Glue or that the wings are fastened with paper clips?
LOL – I crack myself up!
The CRJ700, or 700 as it's so lovingly referred to, is no different or better than the CRJ200. They basically grabbed the nose and the tail and pulled, and in one gumby-like performance, you have a stretch-CRJ200 aka the CRJ700. Its simply longer and contains more seats.
There's some other things like leading edge slats on the wings and FADEC (full authority digital engine control) that make it desirable to pilots but ultimately Bombardier tried to make a limousine out of a soup can. And just when we thought they couldn't stretch that sucker any longer, oops they did it again when creating the CRJ900 and the CRJ1000.
The seats still suck. I think I'd be more comfortable sitting on a handful of nails but I digress.
You're a tall chap so I venture to say regional jets are a bit on the cramped side for you anyhow. I've never piloted any CRJ product but I've sat in their cabins and jumpseats so many times the FAA should grant me an honorary type rating on my pilot certificate. HA!
Did I mention the seats suck? Your butt will be begging for mercy after the first 30 minutes so you better bring your inflatable donut to sit on.
Now the best way to tell a CRJ from ERJ is an ERJ145 looks like a pencil, long and slender, and the CRJ200 looks like a vienna sausage, stubby and chubby. CRJ's sit particularly low to the ground in comparison to the ERJ and their engines are shorter, too. CRJ's also sit on the ground sloping from tail high to nose low as you see when they taxi by, like a cat rearing up for the attack.
The winglets on a CRJ are poorly designed from an aesthetic perspective, read: they're silly looking, and all CRJ's contain them. The only 145's with winglets are owned by ExpressJet Airlines and limited in production, so most EMB145's you see out there WON'T have winglets. They own the engineering blueprints on the bent wing 145 so nobody else can buy them. Score 1 for the cool kids.
The CRJ200 is more similar to the ERJ145 because of seating capacity – they both haul 50 temperamental people. The CRJ700 seats about 74-80. The CRJ900 seats 84-90. The CRJ1000 is a just a mythical creature that's never actually been seen in public.
And while you might be thinking, “What the heck do the Brazilians know about building cold-weather airplanes anyway?” – well they seemed to have worked out the production issues and it operates well even in the snow. I tell the passengers when they board, “Ladies and gentlemen you're about to experience the miracle of flight. We'll be hurdlin through the air at over 500 mph in a thin metal tube made in a South American sweat shop, yeehaw!”