Plane Chains is excited to share with you another Canadian built aircraft, however, this edition has seen many different parts of the world and has safely flown hundreds of thousands of people. It is because of aircraft like the CRJ that passengers are able to connect from remote areas to larger hubs.
The Bombardier CRJ 700, CRJ 900, and CRJ 1000 are a family of regional jet airliners that were designed and manufactured by Bombardier formerly Canadair between 1999 and 2020. Their design was derived from the smaller CRJ 100 200 aircraft. Unfortunately, the CRJ program was sold to Mitsubishi in 2020, which ended the production of the aircraft.
In 1990 Bombardier already had plans to improve the already existing CRJ 100 200, which led to the CRJ-X. It was a program that aimed to produce an enlarged version of the CRJ 100 200. Officially launched in 1997, the CRJ 700 took flight for the first time on 27 May 1999. However the improvements did not stop there, Bombardier soon after unveiled the newer CRJ 900, CRJ 550 and CRJ 1000. Bombardier did not fail to provide high-quality regional jets that fit the needs of specific customers that had different purposes.
The CRJ program was sold to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in a deal that took place on 1 June 2020. Bombardier continued to manufacture aircraft at the Mirabel and the Downsview facility until their new location was purchased at Toronto Pearson airport. Mitsubishi will continue to manufacture parts for existing CRJ operators but does not plan to sell or build any new CRJ aircraft and will focus instead on their Spacejet aircraft. There have been over 50 airlines that have placed orders for the CRJ 700 with 314 still flying today.
Our aircraft registered VT-RJE started its story over 21 years ago, she was built at the Montreal Mirabel factory as MSN 10029 meaning she was the 29th to come off the production line. Taking her first test flight she was registered as C-GIBH, once the crew at the Mirabel site was certain she was safe to carry out her job VT-RJE was sent to her first customer, Maersk Air UK in 2001 where she operated on behalf of British Airways. She remained in the UK until 2005 when she was transferred to Horizon Air. Following her 3 year stint in the US, VT-RJE got sent off to carry out her job for the final time, this time with Alliance Air of India, where she operated on behalf of Air India Regional. After VT-RJE service at Horizon Air she was painted with Air India’s iconic red belly and tail, company titles had not yet been applied. Upon delivery company logos and titles were hand painted onto the aircraft. For the next 9 years, VT-RJE flew routes all across India, in support of the Air India route network to help connect all the remote areas of India's vast land.
We were presented with the front half of VT-RJE and picked cuts of the unique cream-colored fuselage as well as the red ‘Air India’ in Hindi and the rare orange ‘Regional’ text also in Hindi.
Plane Chains is honored to be able to upcycle VT-RJE, so that all her hard work could be appreciated by many avgeeks such as ourselves across the world taking her final trip to you.