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In 1987, following market trends towards more efficient, powerful and reliable turboprop powerplants, Canadair undertook the task of retrofitting 17 CL-215 airframes with the Pratt & Whitney Canada PW123AF engines, providing a 15% power increase over the original piston engines, as well as enhanced reliability and safety. The retrofitted aircraft were designated CL-215T and also featured many aerodynamic and systems improvements including powered flight controls, cockpit air conditioning, as well as upgraded electrical and avionics systems. The most notable external features of the CL-215T retrofit were the aerodynamic additions to the wings and empennage.
Based on the success of the CL-215, the company introduced the CL-415, a new-build production series beginning in 1993. The CL-415 first flew on December 6, 1993, with the first deliveries in November 1994. Orders from several countries soon followed.
In October 2018 the first full flight simulator for the 415 was opened, in Milan, Italy. The 415's mission environment make it a demanding plane to fly, and half the crashes have occurred on training flights, which the use of a modern flight simulator is expected to reduce. It was a challenging simulator to develop, because it also had to simulate taxi-ing, on water, once landed.
The CL-415 has an updated cockpit, aerodynamics enhancements and changes to the water-release system as well, creating a modern firefighting amphibious flying boat for use in detecting and suppressing forest fires. Compared to the CL-215, the CL-415 has increased operating weight and speed, yielding improved productivity and performance. The 415 can scoop up to 6137 litres of water from a nearby water source, mix it with a chemical foam if desired, and drop it on a fire without having to return to base to refill its tanks. The CL-415 was specifically developed to provide the capability to deliver large quantities of suppressant in quick response to fires. The aircraft is built for reliability and longevity, with use of corrosion-resistant materials. The new 415GR has higher operating weights, while the CL-415 multi-role is available for use in a paramilitary search and rescue role and utility transport.
The aircraft requires 1340 m of flyable area to descend from 15 m altitude, scoop 6137 litres of water during a twelve-second 410-metre-long , then climb back to 15nbsp;m altitude. The aircraft can also pick up partial loads in smaller areas and can turn while scooping, if necessary.
Derived from its predecessor's nickname, it acquired the name, "Super Scooper" in light of its greatly enhanced performance as a water bomber and fire suppresser. In recognition of its abilities, the aircraft was awarded the Batefuegos de oro (gold fire extinguisher) by the Asociacion para la Promocion de Actividades Socioculturales. The award citation in part read "This is the most efficient tool for the aerial combat of forest fires, key to the organization of firefighting in a large number of countries. The continuous improvements to meet the needs of forest firefighting have made these aircraft the aerial means most in demand over more than 30 years."
Of the 95 built, seven have been removed from service due to accidents.
- The original model, 86 built.
- Maritime patrol version, 3 built.
- Improved version for the Hellenic Air Force, 6 built.
- Service aérien gouvernemental, Quebec operates 8 and 2-4 leased out for firefighting in California.
- Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (Ontario) operates 9.
- Department of Natural Resources (Newfoundland and Labrador) operates 6.
- Government Air Services, Manitoba operates 4.
- Provincial Aerospace, Newfoundland and Labrador operates 2 converted as 415MP for use for overseas clients/contracts (for Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency)
- Croatian Air Force operates 6 in 885th Firefighting Squadron.
- Moroccan Air Force received 6.
- Los Angeles County Fire Department leases 2 from the government of Quebec for use during the wildfire season since 1994.
- San Diego County leases 2 from the Province of Quebec for use during the three-month period from September 13 to December 13.
- United States Forest Service leases 2 to 4 CL-415s for fighting fires on US lands. These aircraft are owned by a partnership led by Tenax Aerospace LLC and operated by Aero-Flite, Inc.
- "Bombardier 415." aerospace.bombardier.com. Retrieved: April 13, 2010.
- "Viking Air to buy type certificates for Bombardier amphibians". Flight International. June 21, 2016. https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/viking-air-to-buy-type-certificates-for-bombardier-426528/.
- "Bombardier Announces a Definitive Agreement for the Sale of its Amphibious Aircraft Program to Viking Air Limited" (Press release). Bombardier. June 20, 2016. http://www.bombardier.com/en/media/newsList/details.bca-201600620-bombardier-announces-a-definitive-agreement-for-th.bombardiercom.html.
- "Viking Air Limited Acquires Worldwide CL-415 Waterbomber Program from Bombardier" (Press release). Viking Air. June 20, 2016. Archived from the original on June 23, 2016. https://web.archive.org/web/20160623125024/http://www.vikingair.com/viking-news/media-centre/viking-air-limited-acquires-worldwide-cl-415-waterbomber-program-bombardier.
- "Viking completes acquisition of Bombardier's amphibious aircraft programme". Flight Global magazine. 3 October 2016. https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/viking-completes-acquisition-of-bombardiers-amphibi-430038/.
- Jon Hemmerdinger. "Tru delivers first CL-415 water bomber full-flight simulator". Flight Global magazine. https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/tru-delivers-first-cl-415-water-bomber-full-flight-s-453093/. Retrieved 2019-01-02.
- "Firefighting Techniques and Technologies: Water scooping." bombardier.com. Retrieved: April 13, 2010.
- "Bombardier 415 SuperScooper Amphibious Aircraft." Newatlas.com. Retrieved: June 11, 2017.
- "Canadair CL-415." 5, 2007/https://web.archive.org/web/20071205033708/http://www.baaa-acro.com/Types%20d%27avions/Canadair%20CL-415.htm Archived December 5, 2007, at the Wayback Machine. baaa-acro.com. Retrieved: July 29, 2011.
- "CL-415 MP Aircraft | Viking's Aerial Firefighter" (in en). https://aerialfirefighter.vikingair.com/aircraft/cl-415mp.
- Amy Laboda (October 12, 2018). "Viking Air Preps for Fire Season, Updates Water Scooper Line". https://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news/business-aviation/2018-10-12/viking-air-preps-fire-season-updates-water-scooper-line.
- Provincial Aerospace | Provincial Aerospace Awarded $4M Contract to Modify Maritime Surveillance Aircraft 12, 2012/https://web.archive.org/web/20120712012253/http://www.provincialaerospace.com/MediaandEvents/MediaReleases/NewsDetailsBombard0424/ Archived July 12, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
- Keijsper 2008, p. 40.
- "Amphibious aircraft – Status report – Bombardier". Archived from the original on 2013-11-08. https://web.archive.org/web/20131108072536/http://www.bombardier.com/en/aerospace/amphibious-aircraft/status-report.html.
- Keijsper 2008, p. 41.
- Vogelaar, Rob."Bombardier Sells Four Bombardier 415 Amphibious Firefighting Aircraft to an Undisclosed Customer." aviationnews.eu, March 28, 2011. Retrieved: July 29, 2011.
- Keijsper 2008, p. 43.
- Zev (September 14, 2011). "Fighting fire with some super friends". Los Angeles County. Archived from the original on January 18, 2014. https://web.archive.org/web/20140118102121/http://zev.lacounty.gov/news/public-safety/fighting-fire-with-some-super-friends. Retrieved January 16, 2014.
- Bartholomew, Dana (August 26, 2013). "Canadian Super Scoopers arrive early in L.A. County to take on fire season". Los Angeles Daily News. http://www.dailynews.com/general-news/20130826/canadian-super-scoopers-arrive-early-in-la-county-to-take-on-fire-season. Retrieved January 16, 2014.
- "County leases fire-fighting planes from Quebec." SignOnSanDiego. Retrieved: July 29, 2011.
- "Bombardier Announces First U.S. Bombardier 415 Aircraft Sale and Delivery to a Partnership Led by Tenax Aerospace, LLC". https://finance.yahoo.com/news/bombardier-announces-first-u-bombardier-153640023.html.
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- Pickler, Ron and Larry Milberry. Canadair: The First 50 Years. Toronto: CANAV Books, 1995. ISBN 0-921022-07-7.
- Keijsper, Gerard. "Water-Bombers Required!" Air Forces Monthly, London: Key Publishing, July 2008 Issue.
- Marsaly, Frederic and Samuel Pretat. "Bombardiers d'eau/ Canadair Scoopers." Editions Minimonde76, May 2012, ISBN 978-2-95418-180-6.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Canadair CL-415.|
- Airliners.net The Canadair CL-215 & 415
- Bombardier's homepage of the SuperScooper
- Canadair CL-415 MP