Viking has acquired Bombardier’s Amphibious Aircraft program, which includes Type Certificates for CL-215 and CL-415 and after-market services. Visit our Customer Support Page for more support and spares details.
The CL-215 was designed as a specialist firebomber, particularly suited to heavily forested regions. The resulting amphibious aircraft is powered by two Pratt & Whitney Twin Wasp R-2800 radial engines and is capable of scooping up 5,455 litres (1,200 Imp gal/1440 US gal) of water in 12 seconds from a water source. The CL-215 Series 1 aircraft first flew on October 23, 1967 and the first delivery was to the French Civil Protection agency in June 1969.
Production of piston powered CL-215’s continued through 1990, ending with the Series 5 aircraft standard.
Originally, the subsequent CL-215T was to be a simple turboprop-powered development of the piston-powered CL-215. Canadair converted two aircraft in 1989 to act as development and technical demonstrator aircraft. The first of these flew on June 8 of that year. Retrofit kits for piston CL-215 aircraft to the new “T” standard were offered, but Canadair elected not to continue with “T” Kits, as the internal business case favored new production over conversion, and instead developed the CL-415.
The CL-415 was developed from the piston-powered CL-215 Series 5 aircraft in combination with the advances from the “T” conversion program.
Additional improvements over the CL-215, which first appeared on the CL-215T, include winglets and finlets, higher operating weights, an increased capacity firebombing system, (1,621 US gal from 1,440 US gal) and the addition of a foam injection system.
CL-215T vs CL-415
A 215T will carry the same load and demonstrate performance similar to that of a CL-415.
The major external difference is the CL-215T has a two-door bomb bay while the CL-415 has a four-door bomb bay (which configuration is better has been debated continually by the worldwide operator base). The primary internal difference between the CL-415 and the CL-215T is an EFIS avionics suite included in the CL-415.