The Bombardier-built Canadair Regional Jet was a novel concept a the time; a 50-seat jet competing against turboprops with superb comparative speed and comfort. The project was born from Bombardier's popular Challenger 600-series private jet, from which the CRJ-100 was basically stretched into a 50-seat airliner. The type first flew in 1991 at the company's factory at the Montreal Mirabel Airport, and Lufthansa CityLine introduced the first example into service in 1992. New engines and increased range were included on an updated CRJ-200, which first entered service with Tyrolean Airways in 1996. The lack of slats lead to performance issues for the type, and the aircraft often climbed very slowly when heavy, especially on a hot day. When Bombardier stretched the CRJ-200 into the 70-seat CRJ-700, slats and more powerful engines were added, along with a small forward cargo pit for ease of access to gate-check carryon bags. The CRJ-700 first flew in 1999 and entered service in 2001 with Air France regional affiliate Brit Air. The CRJ-700 was further stretched into the 90-seat CRJ-900, which was introduced in 2003 by Mesa Airlines, who operated the aircraft on behalf of America West Express. The CRJ-900 was too large to be operated by Air Canada's regional affiliate's due to a "scope clause" in Air Canada's mainline pilot contract preventing larger aircraft from being flown by contract vendors. To circumvent this, Air Canada and Bombardier developed 17 examples of the the CRJ-705, physically about the same as the CRJ-900 but developed to only carry 75 passengers, and thus allowed to operate Air Canada regional flights with other carriers. Similarly in the United States, examples ordered for Comair and SkyWest to be flown under the Delta Connection banner we not allowed to have more than 76 seats, so the aircraft ended up with generous legroom accordingly. Bombardier stretched the CRJ-900 even further with the 100 seat CRJ-1000, with offered a second small forward cargo pit for the excess anticipated number of gate check carryon bags. The CRJ-1000 was introduced by Brit Air for Air France and Air Nostrum for Iberia in 2010, but scope clauses kept the type out of North America and Bombardier only sold 63 units. Both the CRJ-100/200 and the CRJ-700 were also expanded into private jet variants as well, called the CL-550 and CL-850 respectively. In 2020, Bombardier ended production of the CRJ series and sold the type to Mitsubishi of Japan, who's own attempts to launch a regional jet have so far yielded only failure.
Currently, the following realistic add-ons are available for this aircraft:
Aerosoft CRJ-700: Microsoft Flight Simulator
Aerosoft CRJ-700/900: Prepar3Dv4/5
Aerosoft CRJ-200: X-Plane
Feelthere/Wilco CRJ NextGen CRJ-700/900/1000: Microsoft Flight Simulator X
JRollon CRJ-200: X-Plane
Virtualcol CRJ-200/700/900/1000: Prepar3Dv1-5/Microsoft Flight Simulator X