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Nov 27, 2001
Which aircraft is better, the CRJ or ERJ? I'm looking for answers from a pilot's perspective as well as operational, maintenance, cost, reliability and safety considerations.


It's all a matter of opinion. The CRJ is more expensive, maybe a slight bit faster(.80 vs. .78), and has a wider, two-by-two cabin, which some would say is more comfortable. The ERJ is long and has a somewhat narrower cabin. The cockpit is VERY loud, a major drawback. Ergonomics in the ERJ's cockpit are great, and the systems very straightforward. It is equipted with the Honeywell Primus 1000 avionics. I believe the CRJ has the Collins package, but they are comparable.

Why do you ask...you looking to start an airline? :D
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I think the better aircraft is the one that makes more sense for the operator. From the customers point of view most people prefer the ERJ cabin since it has a 1+2 configuration( you dont have to seat next to anyone) Ergonomics for the pilots are a different thing though, and we have to ask pilots who have flown both aircraft.

Since I've been furloughed, maybe starting up my own airline would be easier than getting a new flying gig. ;) Guaranteed to be at the top of the seniority list! :D
But seriously, I've never flown any RJ (from BE1900 straight to the Airbus) and am curious how they are to fly and what's the differences between the two. I'm interested in economic considerations as well as the cockpit point of view. I'm told the new CRJ700/900 and ERJ170/190 are quite a bit different from their predecessors. Since they are shaping up to be the new battleground in the regional/major conflict, I thought that real world experience with the 50 seaters might provide a glimpse into what the future birds will be like. It's quite possible that I'll be flying one either at a regional or major in a couple of years and I'm trying to find out which one is the best choice overall, from a pilot and management perspective. Not that anyone who makes the call would ask me for my vote, but you never know.

The CRJ is more expensive and a nicer airplane than the ERJ both from a passenger's standpoint as well as a pilot's. The CRJ700 is a big improvement over the CRJ200 though, with leading edge devices and autothrottles (i think)... and the CRJ900 is probably better than the 700. So, it all depends on how much money you got!
Instead of calling the autopilot in the ERJ "George" it should be called "Stevie Wonder". Because it intercepts the FMS course like Stevie Wonder plays the piano. I hope the Primus 2000 is a better package. Overall the ERJ is a great a/c with lots of power. An empty 135 with the A1/P engines is really impressive. The older 145s with the original FADEC software with the A engines where dogs. Embraer has worked out most of the bugs in the ERJ and its a real nice a/c now. I can't wait to fly the new XR model. The rumor is it will go further, higher and faster, probably FL390 and .80. I believe the cost of the ERJ is only around 18 mil.
Rudedog-sorry you got furloughed, hope you're back in the Bus soon.

Bigflyr, if you haven't flown them both, how can you say one is clearly better than the other? You may be right, but it is strictly a matter of opinion.

I won't say the ERJ is the greatest airplane in the world or anything like that, but it has a 99+% reliability, and it flies great. It does the job it was built to do well.

Thanks for the support. I've got a seniority number at a major (the so called golden ring) but it probably won't be paying the bills for a few years. They say it's better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all, but I'd be keeping a roof over my family's head from the left seat of an ERJ right now if I never left my old job.
I don't regret the choices I made and am glad everyday that I made it there, but it wasn't everything it's cracked up to be even before 9/11. Same $h!t, Different Airline is an understatement. After working my butt off for almost ten years and all the risks and sacrifices it took, in the end it's just a job. When you make it to the biggies, if that is your desire, be prepared for the hangover effect. After achieving the seemingly unattainable goal, it's easy to feel "unfulfilled" and "What now?" It's probably similar to mountain climbers when they finally climb Everest, they don't just go home and hang up their gear. I guess the trick is to find other goals to reach for and diversify your interests. I've just been too busy trying to make it through probation and now I've got to find a new career.
Don't get me wrong, the money is way better and the workload and lifestyle is far easier than the commuters and probably tons more so than fractionals (never been there), but I often missed the excitement of ten legs a day in the BE1900. The Bus is a great plane, but sometimes I felt more like a computer programmer than a pilot. Maybe you RJ pilots felt the same way when you made the jump from turboprops to jets. The point is if you got a great job doing what you love, that's all that really matters.


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