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Mon, May 03, 2010

Bombardier Delivers 201st Amphibious Aircraft

The Airplane Is Newfoundland And Labrador's First Bombardier 415

It's possibly the least-well-known of the Bombardier family, but the company claims it is the world's most efficient firefighting aircraft. Rrecently, Bombardier Aerospace announced it has delivered its 201st amphibious aircraft, a Bombardier 415 to the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. It is the first for four of the amphibs ordered by the government in 2009 to at least partially replace its aging fleet of CL-215 aircraft.

Delivery Ceremony

The Bombardier 415 aircraft is the latest in a long line of amphibious aircraft to be designed, manufactured and supported by Bombardier Aerospace.

Most of the fleet is still in service in firefighting operations. "Since its launch in 1994, the Bombardier 415 aircraft has consistently proved itself to be a reliable and effective firefighting tool. The aircraft's unique operational capabilities and exceptional performance allow it to operate in the most rugged and demanding of circumstances, and it is recognized around the world as the most effective firefighting aircraft available," said Michel Bourgeois, President, Bombardier Specialized and Amphibious Aircraft and Military Aviation Training.

File Photo

Since the first Bombardier 415 amphibious aircraft delivery in 1994, a total of four Bombardier 415MP and 71 Bombardier 415 aircraft have been delivered to governments and firefighting agencies in Croatia, France, Greece, Italy, Malaysia, Ontario, Québec and Spain.

The Bombardier 415 firefighting aircraft has a normal cruise speed of 180 knots. In an average mission of six nautical miles distance from water to fire, it can complete nine drops within an hour and deliver 14,589 gallons (U.S.) of fire suppressant.

The aircraft is also being offered in a multi-purpose version, the Bombardier 415MP aircraft, which can be used in a variety of specialized missions, such as search and rescue, environmental protection, coastal patrol and transportation. Two Malaysian Bombardier 415 aircraft and one Greek Bombardier 415 aircraft are currently equipped with the MP configuration.

File Photo

The CL-215 aircraft the government is replacing received Transport Canada certification in March 1969 and the first customer delivery, to France, occurred three months later. One hundred twenty five aircraft were delivered throughout the years, and the final delivery, to Greece, occurred in May 1990. Sixty-four CL-215 amphibious piston aircraft remain in service.

The CL-215T aircraft is a CL-215 aircraft that was retrofitted with PW123AF turboprop engines using kit modifications and added improvements. Similar to the Bombardier 415 aircraft, it features enhanced aerial firefighting capabilities, powered flight controls and a new electrical system. A total of 17 CL-215T firefighter aircraft were converted and delivered, and 16 are currently in service. In the Fall of 2004, new conversion kits were offered, and in February 2006, seven orders were placed by the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan.



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