Bombardier Regional Aircraft Division (BRAD) announced at Farnborough yesterday that the formal launch of the extended Regional Jet project, the 70-seater CRJ-X has been delayed until later in the year.
However, BRAD can begin offering the aircraft for sale and can confirm performance specifications.
The company denies that it had been slack in launching the project a year after its leading European customers said they would buy the aircraft immediately.
"We have to get the whole question of price and costs under control as well as getting the design sorted out," says BRAD president Pierre Lortie. "It's like working on a house. It is more expensive to make alterations than build from new. Our whole philosophy is to price to market and cost to profit."
It is understood that BRAD had hoped to launch the CRJ-X at the Show but negotiations are still going on with several proposed partners and sub-contractors and Bombardier's board is reluctant to confirm the launch while talks are going on.
Unlike the target order figure set for colleagues on the Global Express, the company is confident that a market exists for the extended RJ and the launch will occur once the partnership negotiations are completed.
"Commonality with the Canadair Regional Jet has been a prime CRJ-X design goal to maximise the opportunity for substantial cost savings for mixed fleet operators," Lortie says.
There are some new elements to the design: more space in the cabin with additional headroom and new overhead locker designs.
BRAD is negotiating partnerships for the wings, avionics, landing gear and APU as well as structural manufacturers.
Agreements are confirmed with General Electric Aircraft Engines for the CF34-8C1 engines which are more fuel efficient and 50% more powerful than the CF34-3B1 engines currently used by the Canadair Regional Jet.