Sixteen years ago, each of the three biggest aircraft manufacturers had to make a crucial strategy decision: Would one of them buy a promising large regional jet program and expand its portfolio at the lower end? Fairchild Dornier had just filed for bankruptcy, and the 728JET/928JET program was up for grabs. After taking a look, Bombardier, Boeing and Airbus said thanks, but no thanks. The traditional split between mainline and regional aircraft manufacturers  was very much intact. And ...

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