Initial Operational Capability (IOC):
Also Known As: Bombardier 415MP, Canadair and CL-415
Viking Air Limited
Parent System: Bombardier 415
Initial Operational Capability (IOC): 1994
Total Production: 91
Total Cost: USD$1.4 billion
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Description: The Bombardier 415 multi-role amphibious aircraft receives its heritage from the Canadair CL-215 developed in the 1960s. More than 142 CL-215s have been sold worldwide. Bombardier 415 aircraft's design responds to a high wing, amphibian, turboprop airplane intended for firefighting. Bombardier launched this program in 1991 with the aim to replace aging CL-215 aircraft also manufactured by Bombardier. The maiden flight was conducted in 1993 and first airworthiness certifications during 1994 with the first delivery to an end customer in November 1994. The Bombardier Amphibious Aircraft Program was sold to Viking Air Limited in 2016.
The primary role of this aircraft is the firefighting role carrying water and/or foam. Moreover, Bombardier claims the 415 is suitable for other missions such as maritime surveillance, coastal patrol, search and rescue, utility transport and resource protection. In the firefighting configuration, the Bombardier 415 can do an initial attack on forest fires dropping large amounts of fire suppressing foam. It has four compartments four doors water tank storage system that hold approximately 6,137 liters or 1,621 gallons of water/foam mixture. It can refill its tanks by skimming the surface of any suitable body of water.
Externally, the 415 is very similar to its predecessor the CL-215. Although, internally the aircraft is quite different incorporating air conditioned glass cockpit, Pratt & Whitney Canada PW123AF turboprop engines rated at 2,380-shp each and new flight controls. Maintenance results easier than its predecessor. In addition, the maximum take-off weight is greater than CL-215's one and the speed has been increased yielding enhanced performance. As of 2001, The world's 415 fleet had logged 50,000 flight hours totaling 190,000 water/foam drops.
On February 8, 2006 the Italian Government exercised an option on 15 upgrade kits from Bombardier Aerospace for its Bombardier 415 aircraft to expand their capabilities while improving crew comfort and safety. The upgrade kit package derived from the Bombardier 415MP multipurpose aircraft and included autopilot, nose radar, flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder. Italy already installed an upgrade kit on a Bombardier 415 purchased in 2005.
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