Bombardier Aerospace announced today the entry into service of the first CL-215T aircraft to be operated by the Government of Saskatchewan, which purchased a total of four turbine conversion kits for its fleet of CL-215 piston engine amphibious aircraft.
These conversion kits will enhance reliability and efficiency while addressing engine obsolescence. The manual flight controls have been upgraded with hydraulic-powered systems to better benefit from the added engine power and to reduce pilot workload. The structural components of the converted aircraft have been analyzed with the new performance attributes and reinforced to maintain the highest level of safety and reliability. In addition, the electrical distribution system, the engine fuel system, the master caution indication and monitoring systems have been modernized.
"Investing in a reliable, modern fire suppression aerial fleet demonstrates our government´s commitment to protecting communities, property and major infrastructures from wildfire," said Dustin Duncan, Minister of Environment, Government of Saskatchewan. "Bombardier Aerospace´s expertise in supporting the conversion of Saskatchewan´s amphibious aircraft will provide Saskatchewan with effective firefighting aircraft for years to come."
"This is not a new venture," said Michel Bourgeois, President, Specialized and Amphibious Aircraft & Military Aviation Training, Bombardier Aerospace. "Nineteen CL-215 aircraft have already been converted: the first two with the province of Quebec, 15 in Spain since the late 1980s, and recently, one each with the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan. They have since flown over 96,000 hours and performed more than 228,000 drops. Offering solutions such as conversion kits demonstrates our long-term commitment towards supporting the operators of Bombardier´s amphibious aircraft. This recent version of the conversion kits incorporates a number of improvements from the Bombardier 415 aircraft."
"The Bombardier 415 aircraft is the latest in a long line of amphibious aircraft designed by Bombardier, and features turboprop engines, increased fire suppressant capacity and digital avionics. The aircraft can also be configured for other roles, including maritime search and rescue, surveillance and utility transport," added Mr. Bourgeois.
The CL-215T and Bombardier 415 firefighter aircraft both have a normal cruise speed of 333 km/h (180 KT) under certain conditions. In an average mission of six nautical miles (11 kilometres) distance from water to fire, both aircraft can complete nine drops within an hour, with the CL-215T and the Bombardier 415 aircraft delivering 12,710 US gallons (48,114 litres) and 14,589 US gallons (55,233 litres) of fire suppressant, respectively.