Wings Magazine

Bombardier aircraft surpass fuel economy estimates

May 19, 2011, Toronto - Bombardier Aerospace confirmed today that the CRJ1000 NextGen regional jet and Q400 turboprop airliner are both achieving better than expected fuel burn, rewarding operators with additional cost savings.

May 19, 2011  By Carey Fredericks

CRJ1000 NextGen regional jet

The CRJ1000 NextGen aircraft is achieving a mission fuel consumption rate that is 4 per cent better than estimated. The additional savings in fuel burn results in an average annual savings of approximately $220,000 US per aircraft. The improved fuel burn also directly results in a four per cent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions, equivalent to an average reduction of nearly 700 tons of greenhouse gases per aircraft, each year.

"The CRJ1000 NextGen aircraft is delighting launch customers Air Nostrum and Brit Air by delivering beyond expectations and proving to be a sound investment," said Gary R. Scott, President, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. "The CRJ1000 NextGen aircraft truly achieves the lowest cash operating cost per mile for operators in its market segment, while delivering extra range, exceptional reliability and a greener footprint."

The CRJ1000 NextGen aircraft is also achieving six per cent greater range than previously advertised, providing additional operational flexibility.


Since the aircraft's entry into service in December 2010, Brit Air and Air Nostrum are both reporting the excellent passenger appeal and very high reliability of the CRJ1000 NextGen aircraft, as shown by their scheduled completion rate of 99.9 per cent and the aircraft's 99.4 per cent dispatch reliability.

Brit Air has ordered 14 CRJ1000 NextGen aircraft, while Air Nostrum has ordered 35. Introduced specifically to meet the needs of growing regional airlines for jets with up to 100 seats, the CRJ1000 NextGen regional jet offers superior economics, low operating costs and proven cabin comfort. The aircraft is the optimized solution in the regional airline industry for medium-haul route applications, particularly for the replacement of older-generation single-aisle aircraft in thin markets.

Q400 turboprop

For operators of the Q400 turboprop, there is also good news; Bombardier is on target to deliver up to 1.5 per cent in additional fuel burn improvements, along with the two per cent improvement already achieved during high-speed cruise. The better fuel economy comes at no additional expense to operators.

"The Q400 turboprop continues to deliver the best overall operating economics in its market segment, and Bombardier is providing continuous improvements to the aircraft's product offering, including a new business-class configuration, enhanced navigation systems and a drop-down oxygen system to further extend the operational capabilities of the aircraft," added Mr. Scott.

To give operators more flexibility, Bombardier confirmed today that it is offering a new dual-class configuration for the Q400 NextGen aircraft. Later this year, Bombardier will deliver the first Q400 NextGen aircraft with a business-class section, featuring three-abreast seating for premium service and comfort. The launch customer for the new cabin offering will be announced at a later date. This new dual-class cabin configuration will also be available as a retrofit for in-service aircraft.

Bombardier completed the development of an optional drop-down oxygen system for the Q400 NextGen aircraft in December 2010 to further extend the operational capabilities of the aircraft. The system can provide up to 22 minutes of emergency oxygen and has been ordered by customers that fly over mountain ranges for extended periods of time.

To support greater efficiency in the use of airspace and allow for shorter routings, additional fuel efficiencies, better obstacle clearance and avoidance of noise-sensitive areas, Bombardier is on track to complete its performance-based Required Navigation Performance (RNP APCH) program for the Q400 NextGen aircraft later this year. The RNP APCH capability will be provided as an optional feature and is in accordance with the ICAO performance-based navigation (PBN) manual. Updated capability statements will be provided in the Aircraft Flight Manual (AFM).

In addition, together with launch-customer Japan Air Commuter, Bombardier has developed a Space-Based Augmentation System (SBAS) option for the Q400 NextGen aircraft. SBAS, also referred to as Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) in North America, provides greater navigation capabilities, less reliance on ground-based navigation aids and the potential for more efficient air routes, resulting in both time and fuel cost savings.

Optimized for short-haul operations, the "comfortably greener," 70- to 80-seat Q400 NextGen aircraft, manufactured at Bombardier Aerospace's Toronto facility, provides an ideal balance of passenger comfort and operating economics with a reduced environmental footprint. Bombardier has booked firm orders for a total of 408 Q400 and Q400 NextGen aircraft, and as of January 31, 2011, 344 had been delivered. Q400 and Q400 NextGen aircraft are in service with more than 30 operators worldwide and have logged more than 2.7 million flight hours and over 3 million landing and take-off cycles.


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