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Bombardier Begins Assembly Of CRJ900 (Oct. 4)



TORONTO---Bombardier Aerospace has begun assembly of the prototype 86-seat CRJ900 Series regional jet.

First flight of the prototype is scheduled for the first quarter of 2001, followed by delivery to the Bombardier Aerospace Flight Test Center in Wichita, Kansas.

To create the prototype, Serial Number (SN) 15991, Bombardier will insert two fuselage plugs measuring 2.29 metres and 1.57 metre (90 and 62 inches) into the fuselage of CRJ700 Series SN 10001, giving the aircraft an overall length of 36.19 metres (118.75 feet). The fuselage plugs were manufactured by Bombardier's Shorts unit in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The prototype will retain the original CRJ700 wing, engines, wheels and brakes.

Assembly of the first production CRJ900, SN 15001, with a stronger wing, upgraded wheels and brakes, two additional over-wing exits and General Electric CF34-8C5 engines, is scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 2001.

Officially launched at the 2000 Farnborough Air Show in July, the CRJ900 has attracted orders from BRIT Air of France (four firm, eight options) and General Electric Capital Aviation Services of the U.S. (10 firm, 20 options). Tyrolean Airways of Austria has signed a Letter of Agreement for 12, while Air Nostrum of Spain has signed a Letter of Agreement covering eight CRJ900 aircraft.

Type certification of the CRJ900 is scheduled for the third quarter of 2002 with customer deliveries scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 2003.

"The CRJ900 will be the first regional jet in the 90-seat class to the market and its exceptional operating economics will set the standard for this category of aircraft," said Steven A. Ridolfi, president of Bombardier Aerospace, Regional Aircraft. "Further, its extensive family commonality with the 50-seat CRJ100 and CRJ200 and 70-seat CRJ700 Series will offer regional airlines unbeatable operational flexibility and a multi-million-dollar cost advantage over mixed fleets."

The standard CRJ900 has a maximum take-off weight of 36 514 kg (80,500 pounds) while the CRJ900ER (Extended Range) has a maximum take-off weight of 37 421 kg (82,500 pounds). A "European Version" of 36 995 kg maximum take-off weight is available to minimize weight-related charges in European airspace.

The standard aircraft has a still-air range of 2 778 km (1,500 nautical miles), putting Reykjavik, Moscow, Marrakech and Ankara within nonstop range of Frankfurt.

Bombardier Aerospace, a unit of Bombardier Inc., is the leading business, regional and amphibious aircraft manufacturer. With full design and production capabilities in three countries, it offers the most comprehensive families of turboprop and regional jet aircraft and the widest range of business jets. It also provides the Flexjet fractional business aircraft ownership program, technical services, aircraft maintenance and pilot training for business, regional airline and military customers.

Bombardier Inc., a diversified manufacturing and service company, is a world leading manufacturer of business jets, regional aircraft, rail transportation equipment and motorized recreational products. It is also a provider of financial services and asset management. The Corporation employs 56,000 people in 12 countries in North America, Europe and Asia, and more than 90 per cent of its revenues are generated outside Canada. Bombardier's revenues for its fiscal year ended Jan. 31, 2000, totalled $13.6 billion Cdn.

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Bombardier Begins AssemblyOf Prototype CRJ900 Series