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Regional Jets

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If PMDG aren't doing one, that's that, but let's not forget that a lot - probably most - of us want:


  • To fly planes that fit the time we have available - we don't all have time for 12 hour long hauls.  I have the 737NGX, the JS41 and the Majestic Q400 but I probably will never buy the Triple 7 or the 747V2, excellent though they are.
  • To fly planes used by our local airlines - various types of Embraer are very common in Europe.

It's not about looks - not only is that a matter of opinion, some planes that are ugly in a functional way are oddly attractive,  As examples, I'd give you some of those last few brutal piston engined military aircraft built just before the jets came in....... 

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You base your opinion entirely on a baggage compartment? The fact that you corrolate an engine under the wing with mainline is amusing at best! Oh, and the yoke? Yeah, its actually pretty comfortable. It's nice having a place to rest your hands while you fly. No joke!! Whats this talk about flight decks looking cheap? Its about what the airplane can do. The airplane you speak of....avionics wise, can do a lot of stuff. I mean a lot of stuff. It may be an RJ...but it can fly like mainline. Since when does anyone care about a gear handle......its a gear handle.....it serves one purpose....to command the gear up or down.
Im not some advocate for the airplane itself but you sure are showing your naivety here....just sayin.


Naivete is a term used to describe lack of experience, wisdom or judgment.  I'd hardly describe my post as any of that.  You might be able to argue experience, but only on the flying side, and there's more to an airplane than flying it, which is what I think you're missing in judging my post.


First, no, I do not judge an aircraft by its baggage compartment alone.  I just have a lot of experience down there, so it's where I have the biggest gripe.  Second, I'd suggest that you go back and read my posts, since neither of them referred to the engines at any point in time (that was regamuffin).  Third, you can rest your hands on any yoke.  I'm not convinced that the hand position is any better than other options.  People always compare it to a bike, but on a bike, the position is used out of utility: it serves a weight-bearing purpose, and not necessarily one of comfort to the arms and hands (more for the back than anything).  So, it might be a familiar one (and similar in some ways to how many hold a steering wheel at 10 and 2), but I wouldn't call it natural or restful.  Additionally, not only is the yoke different to hold, it doesn't pivot at the center point of the hand hold, which don't follow the usual convention of rolling an aircraft.  That motion would only feel natural to someone who's flown E-Jets their whole career, or someone who regularly captains a boat.  Affecting roll is usually a task of the forearm, with some biceps/triceps (depending on direction).  Affecting roll in this case is predominantly triceps and pec/trapezius.  What used to be subtle is now forced to involve larger muscle groups.  Holding outside aileron has to be fun...


The cheapness of the look of the flight deck is clearly just an opinion, but the tiny gear handle can be related back to an ergonomics issue.  There's a reason most aircraft manufacturers make them larger: they're easier to grasp and manipulate.  For a company (and a following group) that loves to point out how ergonomic the yoke is, I find it funny that the gear handle doesn't follow that same principle.  Using the throttles as an example, even Embraer uses a standard-sized throttle grasp because it's more ergonomic.  Then again, at the same time, the fact that it's small means it doesn't get in the way (though I'd question that logic given the fact that there aren't many required hand movements in that area, and the sight lines wouldn't be too impacted by making it larger.


I agree with you about the avionics bit.  It's got a lot going for it, and it's better than a lot of the mainline equipment because of that, but again: an airplane is more than a flight deck.


A regional jet is built for a regional market.  The aircraft needs to be able to fit into that space effectively for it to be an effective and practical tool.  Because of its design, it does not fit.  It's effectively a mainline aircraft from a ground handling perspective.  This is a major issue for any regional operation that uses ground gates.  Whereas all CRJ models use integrated stairs, along with the 145 (well, most of them - another boneheaded Embraer move), the E-Jets don't.  They essentially require the same level of service that a mainline DC9 would: jetbridge or portable stairs, amount of ramp space, and so on.  It's a mainline jet, marketed to the regional market, forced to exist in this frustrating grey area.


At hubs like IAD, this proved to be a major pain.

As I alluded to earlier, the gates were directed by the mainline carrier, which just lumped the 170 with "regional jet," which meant that it could use the A terminal, too.  Technically, it could, but it was more of a pain to find stairs, and it messed up space utilization.  That means someone from the ramp that would otherwise be doing something productive was forced to go find stairs and it was usually a two person job to get them into position and secure them (especially if you needed the access ramp).


So, call me naive all you want, but that only goes so far as flying the thing.  From the ramp, airport planning, and facilities use side, though, that isn't the case.  A plane is more than a place to carry passengers and pilots, though.  The ramp might be relatively unseen, and not quite a main focus of the industry, but the fact of the matter is, it's a huge deal.


To an airline, time is money.


We could turn a CRJ 700 faster than we could turn an E170, and they carried just about the same amount of passengers.  Why?  Ramp effectiveness.  The CRJ fits into the regional environment.  It's built to do so.  I don't need any more people to cater to the needs of a CRJ 700 than I would an E145.  The E170 really isn't built to fit in.  It might haul similar amounts of passengers, fly in regional markets, and be crewed by regional pilots, but it certainly doesn't fit into the regional environment otherwise.


People can dismiss the ramp all they want, but when they're stuck in the E170 at the A gates at IAD because a rampie is off trying to find an extra set of stairs, they can thank Embraer for that.  Meanwhile, the CRJ700 next to them - that could have easily been substituted for it - has people walking right off with no extra effort.




Agree with you on mainline and regionals and the role regionals play. However, who gave up the scope in the first place? Everyone is so quick to jump on regionals as they came in and stole the flying. The fact is that, the super senior guys ant the mainline carriers gave scope away at the cost of the junior guys. Its sad to say the least.


I don't recall ever saying regionals stole flying from anyone.  I, personally, believe that the mainline carriers are part of the problem for creating a situation to begin with.  I can't really hold the manufacturers accountable, either, because they are just responding to demand.  It does worry me, though, that regional jets are now carrying the same amount of passengers as old mainline DC9s did.  The aircraft being available does reinforce the behavior, but the behavior or intention to engage in the behavior had to exist in the first place for the aircraft to be designed and built.


Am I correct in guessing you're both a regional pilot, and a pilot of an E-Jet?

Kyle Rodgers

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Im an Ejet pilot. I was a CRJ pilot before that and i have rampie experience too but at a mainline carrier not the regional side of things. Personally I loved working the ejets because it didnt come from ANC with 250 bags and front bin full of halibut. From a mainline ramp perspective its a walk in the park...yes, mind the fire detector but you always have knee pads working mainline flights. An awful bin is a 737-9 with no magic carpet...thats an awful bin.


The CRJ family of aircraft are terrific airplanes but whats with the weird sliding tray...bins?...for valet bags. Id rather just load em all in the forward bin on an ejet. Just sayin.


As for all the muscle mumbo jumbo and the yoke, it is an effortless experience to fly the rams horns. Yes the pivot point is strange but when your actually flying the aircraft you simply slide it from side to side. Its actually very natural. Coming from the yoke on a CRJ which has a very heavy feel the rams horns are very easy to use and very intuitive. The hardest thing to get used to, which didnt take long, was the flight director. The airplane goes from a Boeing style 2 axis FD to a FD centered on the FPM on the PFD. So instead of aiming for a pitch refernce your always flying a flight path reference. It works pretty well though and as with everything else you quickly adapt.


Ive never really given any thought to gear handle sizes or thrust lever sizes for that matter. The Ejets thrust levers are slightly larger than the CRJs but it needed TO/GA and AT disconnect buttons. Have you seen DC9 thrust levers now theres nonstandard!! The main gripe on the Ejet thrust levers are getting the finger lifts to allow you into reverse. It takes a bit of finesse to get them out of the detents.


As for swinging gear, its swinging gear, the less work the better. I dont have to pull the handle out to put it down or up. My technique for the Ejet is a closed fist bump up for a gear up call and two fingers push down for a gear down call...lol effortless.


Oh and Id be happy waiting anywhere on an Ejet. I dont know of a single plane that has as good of an ECS system as the ejets. Great summer airplane, loads of cold air. Spent too many summers sweating on ramps in APUless CRJs.


Sorry rant over...although not much of one compared to other posts ;)


Have to fly my stupid regional errr transitional aircraft tomorrow.


Erik Otterson

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Zero love for the E-Jets...absolutely none.

  1. They're - in my opinion - the worst looking aircraft to be currently flying the skies.
  2. They're considered regional aircraft, which means mainline gate planners usually haven't a clue in the slightest where they should go, which causes the next issue:
  3. They need air stairs or a gate, but gate planners usually just think "RJ, they can go to the surface gates...no problem!  Good luck finding stairs, guys!!!"
  4. The bag bins are worse than an MD80s.  If any rampies are on here, you'll know my pain.  If you're not a rampie, then think of this: imagine a room that's just too small for just about anything.  You can't stand, and you can't just hunch over.  You have to load bags while on your knees (better have knee pads), which means you lose most of your leverage and speed.  Oh, and the icing on the cake?  The fire detectors are protected by a flattened steel cage.  No, not rolled steel like the CRJs (thanks Canadians), where if you bump your head, you just bump your head.  No, here, we have flattened steel so that when you bump your head, it's like being attacked by a dull knife to your scalp.  Brilliant design guys.  Just...all around...gold star!
  5. The yoke.  That's all I can say about it.  It kinda speaks for itself.
  6. The rest of the flight deck looks cheaper than some of the home cockpits you see here.
  7. Was the intention to make the gear handle as tiny as humanly possible?
  8. I'll stop here...



1. Disagreed, they looks more sleek and modern than the garbage CRJ's.

2. Not here with Delta at ORD, they usually use the same gates for Shuttles, Endeavor, and Skywest.

3. I hate the CRJ fold up stairs, those things are kinda heavy for small people to lift and very slippery if wet. 

4. No comment.

5. One of the most comfortable yokes I handled and this is coming from someone who dislikes yokes in general.

6. Avionics are the most advanced for an RJ and even make the 777 look antique. 

7. I guess that's an issue for those with large hands.

8. Vacuum system lav beats the snot out of the CRJ's old system, as a lav tech I wonder why Bombardier stuck with the old school blue juice lavs and that's a pain on the CM9 where you have not one but TWO service panels to do.


A<380 love at first flight

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WOW, this is really just like an Airbus vs. Boeing argument right here.  :P


With kind regards, Bogdan Misko.


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