Regional jets have been growing in popularity with regional airlines as they replace their aging turboprop fleet. The CRJ-series aircraft, manufactured by Bombardier, is one of the most popular and has been continually expanded from the original 50-seat CRJ-100/200 variation to the new prototype 100-seat CRJ-1000. For flight simulator, the CRJ-series is nothing new with groups such as Project Opensky (CRJ-100/200/700/900), Microsoft (CRJ-700) and Premier Aircraft Design (CRJ-700/900) developing models with their own skills and eye for detail.
Expanding their CRJ family of models for flight simulator, Premier Aircraft Design (PAD) released their version of the CRJ-100/200. Built for FS2004 and ported to FSX, both models are available in Canadian Jazz livery and Spanish Air Nostrum (Iberia Regional) livery.
CRJ-100 in JAZZ livery descending into Winnipeg
The model looks really impressive and includes a delightful virtual cockpit to enhance the virtual piloting experience. When viewing the model on the tarmac, the stubby, needle shape of the aircraft sits as if it is squatting, a classic CRJ-100/200 characteristic. The heavy looking air stair is also nicely modeled and appears as a slice of the fuselage is falling as it opens.
In addition, the virtual cockpit is well detailed and fully click able with a true piloting experience possible. The autopilot is easy to use, although it requires a precise click in FSX and the glass cockpit puts essential information just a glance away. The full cockpit has been modeled, all the way down to the warning on the cockpit door. The No Smoking and Seat Belt switches have the typical “bing” noise when clicked.
A glimpse at PAD's CRJ virtual cockpit
Flying the aircraft is a joy with responsive handling, plenty of power, and forgiving dynamics. From takeoff to short-final, this version of the CRJ will have a place in everyone’s hangar. The model itself is on par with the normal high-quality models that we see from PAD. The CRJ-100/200 nicely rounds out the group’s Bombardier fleet. This model and the CRJ-700/CRJ-900 are available at PAD’s website.