Aircraft weight-related charges imposed on European carriers has prompted Bombardier to design a lighter version of its planned 100-seat CRJ1000.

The variant, dubbed the CRJ1000 EuroLite (EL), features a maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) of 85,968lb (39,029kg), which is 4,032lb lighter than the baseline CRJ1000 and 5,832lb lighter than the CRJ1000ER.

Range on the EuroLite is 1,030nm compared to 1,488nm and 1,688nm on the standard CRJ1000 and CRJ1000ER, respectively.

"The CRJ1000 EuroLite was designed to help minimize weight-related charges for European operators who need a short- to medium-range jet," says Bombardier.

"Some operators have expressed an interest in the EuroLite and one has already ordered it."

The biggest regional aircraft made by Bombardier to date, the CRJ1000 has already attracted a total of 39 firm orders from four customers - Adria Airways, Air France subsidiary Brit Air, Italian operator Myair and an undisclosed operator.

Bombardier has not yet disclosed which customer has ordered the EuroLite.

A CRJ1000 prototype is on schedule to make first flight this summer, as early as this month. Certification is expected in the fourth quarter of 2009.

The manufacturer also recently revealed that it plans to develop a short-range variant of the 130-seat CSeries 130 that will use the higher-thrust version of Pratt & Whitney’s GTF geared turbofan to offer improved take-off performance. The new variant, called the CSeries 130XT, was revealed as part of Bombardier's release of new performance specifications and dimensions - including increased wingspan and reduced external lengths - for the proposed family of aircraft, which also comprises the 110, 110ER, 130 and 130ER.

The revelation comes as speculation increases that the aircraft will be launched at the Farnborough air show next week.

Source:'s sister premium news site Air Transport Intelligence