The first of 16 Airbus Search and Rescue aircraft built for the RCAF has left the paint shop earlier this week at Airbus’s facility in Seville, Spain. The state-of-the-art aircraft sports the RCAF’s unmistakable yellow and red SAR livery.
Delivery of the first Airbus C295 (designated by the RCAF as the CC-295) is expected before the end of this year. It is powered by two 3,058-shp Pratt & Whitney Canada PW127G turboshaft engines.
The CC-295 will replace the venerable CC-115 Buffalos (aka de Havilland DHC-5s) and those CC-130H Hercules (aka Lockheed Martin C-10Hs) that were dedicated to SAR roles. They will be deployed at CFB Comox in British Columbia, Winnipeg in Manitoba, Trenton in Ontario, and Greenwood, Nova Scotia.
Airbus reports that there are another six CC-295s in either final assembly or undergoing flight testing. A total of 16 have been ordered.
The RCAF has yet to assign a name to the aircraft (e.g. Buffalo, Hercules, etc.).
The 295 has its origins in the CN-235, a military transport aircraft and a regional airliner that was the outcome of a joint venture formed in the early 1980s between Construcciones Aeronáutica SA (CASA) of Spain and PT Dirgantara Indonesia (IPTN).
CASA, founded in 1923, was absorbed into EADS (European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company) in 1999 and later absorbed into Airbus Military in 2009.
Click here for a time-lapse video of the painting of the RCAF’s first CC-295.