18:30 Quebec, Canada - March 2, 2017

A Piece of Cake for Bombardier?

Following on what I wrote few days ago about the new Pratt & Whitney PurePower PW800 (using the same core as the CSeries PW1500 ) that received FAA Certification (PW814/PW815), that it could be "the engine of change" for the current Bombardier CRJ700/900 and 1000
(read it here before reading what follows below: http://www.fliegerfaust.com/the-purepower-pw800-jet-engine-just-received-faa-certification-pw815-a-2290457279.html)

As you might know, the CRJ700 and CRJ900 are very popular in the US with the regional airlines because of the famous "Scope Clause"… (what is the "Scope Clause"? Read these 2 pages so you know)

What's important for the CR900 is the 86000 MTOW (maximum takeoff weight) limit as per the "Scope Clause". That's why you won't see any CRJ1000 in the USA but many in Europe and Asia where there is no such thing as a "Scope Clause". The CRJ1000 MTOW is 91800 lbs. (Bombardier is ready with the CRJ1000 may the Scope Clause disappears in the USA one day)

Here's the maximum takeoff weight of the various CRJ900 and how close to the 86000 lbs "Scope Clause" they are:

  • CRJ900 80500 lbs, 5500 lbs from scope limit
  • CRJ900-ER (extended range /more fuel & MTOW) 82500 lbs, 3500 lbs from scope limit
  • CRJ900-LR (longer range / additional fuel & MTOW) 84500 lbs, 1500 lbs from scope limit

There's some room... but how much additional weight the heavier PW800 engine needs?

Changing the current GE34-8C5 (2450 lbs as published by GE) for the current PW815 (3135.7 lbs as certified by the FAA), represents an additional 685.7 lbs per engine, for 2 engines it makes the aircraft 1372.4 lbs heavier.

There is space for the CRJ900 and the CRJ900-ER and it might be feasible also with the LR version with some additional changes, some composite materials? (hello Belfast!)

Remember, the switch to such an engine, as the new Pratt & Whitney PW815, would mean about 10% to 15% saving on fuel consumption. So, the CRJ900-ER equipped with those new engines could become the new CRJ900-LR, having a 10% to 15% additional range with the same fuel weight, if necessary.

Thinking about it quickly I would say Bombardier has some options here and space to work with if desired. The "current" precise weight numbers on the CR-J900Nextgen could even be better to start off with? Would that be enough to capture the regional commercial jet market than building a new regional aircraft from scratch? ($$)

Let's see how this turns out! Some more existing time at Bombardier Aerospace!

Sylvain Faust