RAA 2011: Bombardier says CRJ1000 fuel burn beats expectations

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Nearly five months into its operation, the Bombardier CRJ1000 is beating previously advertised fuel burn by 4%.

Air Nostrum took delivery of the first CRJ1000 in December 2010, and currently operates five of the aircraft, according to the Flightglobal ACAS database. Brit Air, which currently operates seven CRJ1000s, took its first delivery around the same time.

Speaking at the RAA annual convention in Nashville, Tennessee on 18 May, Bombardier senior vice-president of aircraft programmes Eric Martel disclosed the better than anticipated fuel burn for the CRJ1000, which has resulted in a 6% range improvement for the aircraft.

Martel also cited "exceptional reliability" of the aircraft, highlighting the CRJ1000's 99.9% scheduled completion rate.

In March of this year Air Nostrum said it was pleased with the aircraft's performance, and noted the high reliability of the CRJ1000.

Speaking to ATI and Flightglobal regarding the CRJ1000 beating expectations, Bombardier vice-president of marketing Philippe Poutissou explained a little area was added to the CRJ1000's wing compared to the CRJ700/900 models and the aircraft's trailing edges were lengthened. He said Bombardier's engineers likely supplied conservative estimates how those changes would affect the CRJ1000's drag.

Poutissou stated the importance in aircraft development of not "being overly aggressive" in fuel burn targets, noting "it is expensive" to recover from a miss on fuel burn estimates, he said.

Bombardier is obviously pleased with the CRJ1000's in-service performance, and Poutissou said when the airframer introduces the latest aircraft brochure this year it will include the updated fuel burn and range improvements.