Aircraft Comparison By

CRJ 900 vs MD-88

It has been said that the MD-88 is like a CRJ 900 on steroids. Bombardier makes both planes, but there are some key differences.

The CRJ 900 was designed for short to medium-haul flights, while the MD-88 was originally designed for longer flights. The CRJ 900 holds up to 90 passengers, while the MD-88 can hold up to 125 passengers. The CRJ 900 has a cruising speed of Mach .82, while the MD-88 has a cruising speed of Mach .835.

So which is better? Let’s take a closer look.

Aircraft: Bombardier CRJ 900 McDonnell Douglas MD-88
Delta Airlines McDonnell Douglas MD 88
Country: Canada United States
Manufactured: from: 2001 to: Present from: 1979 to: 1999
ICAO: - MD88
Price: $46.5 million $48.5 million
Avionics: Rockwell Collins ProLine 4 -
Engine: 2 X General Electric CF34-8C5 turbofans 2x Pratt & Whitney JT8D-200 series
Engine Type: - Turbofan
Power: 13,123 pound-force 21,000 pound-force
Max Cruise Speed: 475 knots
880 Km/h
472 knots
874 Km/h
Approach Speed (Vref): - 130 knots
Travel Range: 1,553 Nautical Miles
2,876 Kilometers
2,550 Nautical Miles
4,723 Kilometers
Fuel Economy: 0.63 nautical mile / gallon
0.308 kilometres / litre
Service Ceiling: 41,000 feet 37,000 feet
Rate of Climb: 2000 feet / minute
10.16metre / second
2700 feet / minute
13.72metre / second
Take Off Distance: 1944 metre
6,377.88 feet
2400 metre
7,873.92 feet
Landing Distance: 1622 metre
5,321.46 feet
1585 metre
5,200.07 feet
Max Take Off Weight: 38,329 Kg
84,500 lbs
72,600 Kg
160,054 lbs
Max Landing Weight: - 58,967 Kg
129,999 lbs
Max Payload: 10,591 Kg
23,349 lbs
16,600 Kg
36,596 lbs
Fuel Tank Capacity: 2,897 gallon
10,967 litre
7,000 gallon
26,498 litre
Baggage Volume: 25.17 m3
889 ft3
35.5 m3
1,254 ft3
Seats - Economy: 38 seats -
Seats - Business Class: 20 seats -
Seats - First Class: 12 seats -
Cabin Height: 1.89 metre
6.20 feet
2.05 metre
6.73 feet
Cabin Width: 2.57 metre
8.43 feet
3.14 metre
10.30 feet
Cabin Length: 21.16 metre
69.42 feet
30.78 metre
100.98 feet
Exterior Length: 36.4 metre
119.42 feet
45.06 metre
147.83 feet
Tail Height: - 9.02 metre - 29.59 feet
Fuselage Diameter: 2.69 metre
8.83 feet
3.34 metre
10.96 feet
Wing Span / Rotor Diameter: 24.85 metre
81.53 feet
32.82 metre
107.68 feet
Wing Tips: No Winglets No Winglets
More Info: Bombardier CRJ 900 McDonnell Douglas MD-88
Data presented is for entertainment purposes and should not be used operationally.

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    About the Bombardier CRJ 900

    The Bombardier CRJ900 is a next-generation aircraft that offers passengers a better flying experience thanks to its advanced design and modern amenities. The plane has a top speed of 880 km/h, a range of 2,500 km, and a wingspan of 25 m. It can accommodate up to 90 passengers in its spacious cabin, and is powered by two turbofan engines.

    The CRJ900 also features an advanced flight deck that enhances safety and efficiency. Thanks to its superior performance and comfort, the CRJ900 has become one of the most popular regional jets on the market.

    Why was it developed and built?

    The Bombardier CRJ900 was designed to fill the gap between regional and mainline jets. The aircraft was built explicitly for short-haul flights with frequent departures, giving airlines a more cost-efficient solution. Its advanced design allows it to be operated on shorter runways, making it ideal for airports that don’t have long runways available.

    What purpose does it serve?

    It serves several purposes. The CRJ900 is designed to provide a comfortable and efficient solution for airlines operating short-haul flights. It can fly shorter distances than larger aircraft, allowing airlines to minimize fuel costs and maximize profits.

    In addition, the advanced design of the plane allows it to land on shorter runways while still providing a smooth ride for passengers.

    About the McDonnell Douglas MD-88

    The McDonnell Douglas MD-88 is a twin-engined, short- to medium range airliner. It was first flown in 1987 and was delivered to Delta Air Lines the following year. The MD-88 is a stretched and updated version of the earlier MD-80, with more fuel-efficient engines and higher maximum take-off weight. It can seat up to 172 passengers in a two-class configuration, or up to 189 in a single-class layout. The MD-88 has a range of 4,720 km and a top speed of 925 km/h.

    It is powered by two Pratt & Whitney JT8D engines, each capable of generating up to 85 kN of thrust. The MD-88 has been operated by a number of airlines around the world, including Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, and Korean Air.

    Why was it developed and built?

    The MD-88 was developed in response to a demand for a more fuel-efficient and technologically advanced successor to the DC-9. To meet this need, McDonnell Douglas incorporated several new features into the design of the aircraft.

    These included an updated glass cockpit with an electronic flight instruments display, more powerful and efficient turbofan engines, and novel “heavyweight” landing gear, which reduced tire wear. In addition, the MD-88 featured greater fuel capacity and range than its predecessor. As a result of these improvements, the MD-88 became one of the most popular airliners of its day.

    What purpose does it serve?

    The MD-80 serves many purposes. It was initially designed to provide medium-haul and long-range air transportation services for airlines. In addition, the aircraft’s efficient design and advanced features have also made it a popular choice among cargo carriers.

    Lastly, the aircraft has been used by governments in search and rescue operations, as well as aerial photography. As a result, the MD-88 has become one of the most versatile aircraft in aviation history.

    How are the Bombardier CRJ 900 and McDonnell Douglas MD-88 different?

    The McDonnell Douglas MD-88 is a twin-engine, narrow-body airliner that was first introduced in 1982. It has a fuel tank capacity of 7,000 US Gal and a maximum payload of 16,600 kg. Its maximum take-off and landing weight are 72,600 and 58,967 respectively. The aircraft has a service ceiling of 37,000 feet and a maximum cruise speed of 472 knots.

    The CRJ900 is a regional jet that was introduced in 2001 by Bombardier Aerospace. It is powered by two turbofan engines and can carry up to 90 passengers. It has a cruising speed of 830 km/h and a range of 2,500 km. The wingspan of the CRJ900 is 25 m. While both aircraft are used for passenger transport, the MD-88 is a long-range airliner while the CRJ900 is designed for shorter regional flights.

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    How are the Bombardier CRJ 900 and McDonnell Douglas MD-88 similar?

    They are both used primarily for short to medium-haul routes. Both aircraft have three main landing gear legs, and the main wheels on each leg are equipped with brakes.

    The nose landing gear of each aircraft has two wheels. Both aircraft have wingtip-mounted engines. The MD-88 has a T-tail, while the CRJ900 has a conventional tail. The CRJ900’s fuselage is slightly longer than the MD-88’s fuselage.

    Both aircraft have large airstair doors, located at the rear of the fuselage, for passenger boarding and disembarkation. The CRJ900 has eight emergency exit windows, while the MD-88 has ten emergency exit windows.

    Both aircraft are equipped with full authority digital engine control (FADEC) systems. The CRJ900 is powered by GE CF34 engines, while the MD-88 is powered by Pratt & Whitney JT8D engines. Both aircraft have scimitar propellers. The CRJ900 has an increased fuel capacity over the MD-88, resulting in a greater range.

    What’s better about Bombardier CRJ900?


    The Bombardier CRJ900 features an advanced avionics suite featuring the latest in-flight management systems and navigation technology. The system is designed to reduce pilot workload and improve safety, allowing for a smoother and more efficient flight.


    The Bombardier CRJ900 has an impressive range of up to 2,285 nautical miles. This means it can fly longer distances without refueling and is well-suited for long-haul flights.

    Cabin Capacity:

    With a cabin capacity of up to 9 rows, the Bombardier CRJ900 comfortably seats up to 86 passengers. This makes it an ideal aircraft for larger groups and long-haul flights.


    The Bombardier CRJ900 is built with fuel efficiency in mind, making it one of the most economical jets on the market. It features a modern engine design that reduces drag, resulting in improved fuel economy. Additionally, its advanced avionics allow for a smoother flight, further improving fuel efficiency.


    The Bombardier CRJ900 is known for its reliability and dependability in the air. It features a rugged construction that can withstand various weather conditions and it is designed to be able to operate in extreme temperatures. The aircraft also features an impressive dispatch rate of 97.5%, making it one of the most reliable aircraft around.

    What’s better about the McDonnell Douglas MD-88?


    The McDonnell Douglas MD-88 has a cruise speed of 9205 mph, making it one of the fastest jet airliners available. This helps reduce flight times and can help save money on fuel costs as well.


    The McDonnell Douglas MD-88 has a stellar safety record, with fewer accidents and incidents than other aircraft in its class. The aircraft is equipped with the latest in-flight management systems and navigation technology to ensure that flights are safe and efficient. Additionally, it features redundant systems, making it one of the safest jets on the market.


    Both the Bombardier CRJ900 and McDonnell Douglas MD-88 are twin-engine jet airliners that are well suited for short to medium-range flights. The CRJ900 offers a modern avionics suite and advanced fuel-efficient engines, while the MD-80 has a larger range and cargo capacity as well as higher speed capabilities. Ultimately, the aircraft you choose should depend on the specific needs of your flight.

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    About the Author

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    With a passion for aviation, as well as surfing and scanning the web, Rocco is in his element analyzing aircraft data and the differences and similarities between aircraft.