"but the QA is basically the same"
is not the same. In aircraft manufacturing every assembly/part/component, sub-assembly/sub-part/sub-component/fastener/etc. has a detailed paper trail and traceability from the raw material to who actually installed it on the aircraft. Plus, if it is a flight control component/system there are mulitple independent QC
inspections, etc., etc., all the way to first flight and certification. You change anything, no matter how small or slight - (a hole size, rivet or fastener size, stand-off, tiewrap, etc. for example) and you first have to get engineering to specify the change and the installation procedure and have QA
approve. You can imagine what is involved with a component like the wing which is going to a new supplier. It will be like starting the program all over again. With the current state of the 728 I can well image the certification nightmare.
"if for no other reason no one is going to let EMB have that market to themselves."
Not if it is a bad investment, which I believe it is. It is difficult enough to design, build and certify an aircraft under the best of times (just look at all the past failures). Now, with an industry that it is so unstable and uncertain and beyond a manufacturer's control, why a company like D'Long, with no previous aerospace experience would invest is truly beyond comprehension. Even FD
originally stated when they first launched the 728 that there was room in the market for only 2 manufacturers (and that was when the Avro RJ
-X was still alive and AI
(R) was still making noises about their own RJ
). Well, there are already two in the market and they are already quite a ways ahead of FD
"The FD product is further along than any other competitor."
Depending upon customer configuration, in the 70-80 seat class there is CRJ-700/705 and the E170. In the 80 to 90 seat class the CRJ-900/E175. In the 90 to 100 the E190. And in the 100-120 the E195, the A318 and B717.
So, the only class that has no competition is in the 90-100 seats. And the only classes that BBD is not currently represented in is the 90-100 and 100-118. And the development of the BRJ-X-90 and BRJ-X-100 are further along than the 928. IF
BBD chose to launch the BRJ-X it would get to market sooner than the 928 since FD
is planning to bring it out AFTER the 728. That is a big mistake as you yourself believe.
By the way, I am not trying to diminsh your optimism. The 728/928 has obviously caught your imagination - and I would find it interesting to know what it is about the 728/928 that you like. As mentioned previously, I acknowledge that it is a good basic design. However, it does not provide any unique or substantial edge over the competition or even older aircraft (apart from projected reduced operating economics).
"One aspect of the 717 that does not seem to factor into any of these analyses is where these aircraft will be in 20 years."
Yes, but the "RJ's" are cheaper to buy and operate now. With the savings you would be able to by a new and improved, and even more economical "RJ" in 20 years time instead of being stuck with a 20 year old 717 with a wing design that is 40 years old...
Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind. - A. Einstein