CRJ Failure to increase airspeed

Yesterday I had a failure to maintain airspeed at FL400. The climb up to FL330 was normal even climbing at 3000 fpm with no issues maintaining speed. I leveled off at 330 @ M.75 fine then I climbed to FL400 @ 1000 fpm so I wouldn’t lose too much airspeed by the time I got to FL400 I was at M.56 she would not accelerate even leveled off. I had to descend to FL330 to gain speed. The flight went normal after that. What went wrong? I was at almost full throttle and she would not gain speed until I descended.

I’m pretty sure CRJ don’t cruise at FL400, FL330 sounds like normal procedure for that aircraft.

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That is the FL Sim Brief gave me with CRJ’s specs. Go figure.

Source? I’ve read the ceiling is at FL410

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Are you using the default simbrief CRJ profiles? If so, there are some better custom airframes if you search aerosoft’s forums. You shouldn’t be up at FL400 with any meaningful payload.

Did your weight in the sim match the weight in the SimBrief plan? You were probably overweight.

And even if you weren’t, you can’t let airspeed drop so much. Don’t let airspeed drop below Mach 0.71 that high. You may have to climb a little, then level off, then climb a little, etc.

You will soon see the real problem… it will take you a very long time to get to your desired altitude that way. And it will not be worth the effort.


what CRJ model?
what was ISA?

climbing with 3000fpm, you will nver gt your speed back. thes little engines have to be handled carefully. climb with IAS of 290, might give her some stepclimbs aswell to gain speed agail. Also FL400, loaded, is probably too much.

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Service ceiling CRJ700 is 41.000 ft. See:
Bombardier CRJ700 series - Wikipedia

What I think happened is that @FierceMP45 used a SimBrief profile with no passengers and no cargo and got an unrealistic cruise altitude.

ceiling doesn’t mean it can fly there when loaded. Ceiling means it’s certified to go there by several criteria but not necessarily if loaded with pax and cruise fuel.

Many Simbrief profiles are nonsense. Don’t trust them blindly. Review actual performance charts for your gross weight.

You’ll not be happy much if you just punch in any numbers without thinking twice in simviation. It gets frustrating at some point when things don’t work out as they are supposed to or as you expect them if your expactations don’t match the reality of the model.

The ceiling of the Learjet 35a for example is somthing around 50k ft but you’ll never get there with passengers in the back. Other business jets “can” go even higher.

The F-16 has a similar ceiling but you’ll struggle to maintain 30000ft if you carry ordnance or external tanks.

Exceeding the optimum flightlevel comes at a high (!) cost of fuel flow in any aircraft, because it means it has to fly at a higher angle of attack which again means a lot of drag. C172, F-16, CRJ. Optimum AOA in most airliners is around 2°. Better fly below that optimum flightlevel than above.


M0.56 is too slow. In the climb, don’t let the Mach speed get below .70 or .72 (once the transition to Mach occurs in the 30k foot range). I’m not sure what the climb speed is in the CRJ, but I am guessing Mach 0.72 is close. Don’t pay attention to vertical speed for an indication of climb performance. Keep the indicated speed (IAS and Mach) high during the climb and let the vertical speed slightly decrease as altitude increase. Once the airplane climbs less than 500 fpm, that’s a good time to level off, speed up, burn fuel off, and then try another 2,000 feet of climb. Getting slow causes the AoA to be too high and there is so much drag on the wing the airplane won’t accelerate until fuel is burned off and AoA is reduced. Very few airplanes will go to the service ceiling right away. It just depends on aircraft weight and ISA temp at altitude.


On the topic of actual cruise altitudes, in the real world, this might be helpful. I use these two links to view current CRJ flights for both the 700/900 versions. On the map you can click on a plane to get a detail page of it’s cruising altitude, speed, etc. I’ll open this and see if there happens to be a CRJ flying my route or something similar, in distance. I’ll look over the cruising altitudes and stuff, to help setup my flights. Typically, I see cruise altitudes somewhere between 31-38k on long flights…

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I fly the CRJ alot recently and i watched “The Dudes” (realworld CRJ Pilot) tutorials.
Generally, climb like this:

After the 10`000ft speed limit, climb with 290 IAS, you CAN use VS at lower altitudes, if advised by ATC for sseparation (happens on VATSIM), but then, WATCH YOUR SPEED and tell ATC if you are not able to keep that V/S!

If there is no restriction on climbrate, ALWAYS use 290kts IAS for the climb, till you see her struggle at higher altitudes, then, either increase N1 (throttle) or climb with 270-280 IAS to reach your cruise altitude.

With a loaded plane, you will deffo struggle to climb somewhere at around 37`000ft, depending on ISA deviation and other factors like your weight. Either level off to gain some speed back if necessary and then climb again, or use a lower cruise altitude.

As already said, a Maximum service ceiling is what it is, a MAXIMUM. It doesnt mean you can get there easily or at all…

But using this climb strategy works well for me, up to 37-38`000ft.

As already said: The CRJ engines are not that powerful and the plane has to be managed manually. You can not just put any value (speed or V/S) in the Autopilot and it will just do that. You need to manage all that yourself. Once you know her limits, she is a wonderful plane to fly, even with the few flaws she still has.

Yesterdays flight from EDDM-LFBZ, cruising on 37`000ft

Interesting topic. I concur with others, a max ceiling in no way correlates to an altitude that is to be flow on a real world flight. Not even close. Somewhere, I read an accident report about a US airline crew flying a CRJ200 on a repositioning flight (no passengers). The pilots decided to get see how high they could get the aircraft. They made it to 40K and then lost control (or flamed out the engines, I can’t recall), both guys were killed. Looking at my flight tracker software, I don’t see any CRJ’s flying > 35,000 feet in the US at least.

you can fly with Challengers and CRJs up to FL410 (CRJ 100-200 are stretched Challengers)

Where I work we dont really files often above FL390 because you enter coffin corner. You must be lightweight & ISA must be cool to be able to climb there (step climb might be required + it takes quite a while to climb there and accelerate to cruise speed after)

What those CRJ pilot did however, IIRC, is that they somewhat went 1 shot to FL410 and bled so much speed that they flamed out, and both engine core locked, thus were unabled to get them restarted.
then they crashed

You can go that high, they are rated for, but you have to be carefull

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I am so glad I found this before I bought the AC. I was reading the specs and they seemed wrong. I flew the CRJ 700/900 years ago. I will be flying it again soon. I remember flying the CRJ 700 at 410 and .82 M. Max was .83M but caused oscillations. The CRJ 700 had a ton of power. It had the same engines as the CRJ 900 but were derated. I can’t find my paper tiger and I wanted to play in the flight deck. I am wondering if the flight deck is accurate and if the CAS messages are accurate. Any ideas?

Moved to User Support Hub Aircraft & Systems that is more appropriate for community support.

The actual airplane is 280/.72. A CRJ 700 can do it all day. A CRJ 200 can’t I flew all 3 variants.

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