April 16, 2020
New Water Bomber Delivered
Longview Aviation Services, owner of Viking Air and de Havilland Aircraft of Canada among other aviation assets, has announced the delivery of the first production model of the Viking CL-415EAF to Bridger Aerospace Group, an American company based in Montana.
“We are very excited and proud to be delivering our first Viking CL-415EAF Enhanced Aerial Firefighter to Bridger Aerospace in time for the 2020 North American wildfire season,” said Robert Mauracher, Viking’s EV-P for sales and marketing. The Bridger deal, valued at $204 million, includes six CL-415EAFs.
The 415EAF (Enhanced Aerial Firefighter) is essentially a Canadair CL-215 upgraded with Pratt & Whitney PW123AF turbine engine and a state-of-the-art digital avionics suite. Airframe modifications, including winglets, are also part of the enhancements. It has been brought to market as a joint venture between Viking and its parent company Longview.
“Aggressive initial attack and advanced technology in support of the wildland firefighter are the core of Bridger’s ethos,” said Bridger Aerospace Group CEO Tim Sheehy. “The Viking CL-415EAF is the most capable initial attack asset on the planet and we are proud to be the launch customer for this incredible capability.”
Viking Air, based in Victoria, British Columbia, is also the manufacturer of the Twin Otter Series 400 and Guardian 400 turbo-prop aircraft. Viking holds the type certificates of all de Haviland Canada aircraft not currently in production (from the DHC-1 ‘Chipmunk’ through to the DHC-7 ‘Dash 7’), as well as all Canadair amphibious aircraft, which include the CL-215, CL-215T and the CL-415 aerial water bombers.
Assisting with the conversion program is Cascade Aerospace of Abbotsford, B.C. Cascade gained valuable experience when it undertook the conversion of nine CL-215s, owned by the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan, to CL-215Ts by replacing its two P&W R-2800 radial engines with P&WC PW123AF turbines.
Photo credit: Longview Aviation