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Aviation News The new Viking CL-415EAF conversion programme takes off

The new Viking CL-415EAF conversion programme takes off

Emilie Drab
26 MAR 2020 | 294 words
The new Viking CL-415EAF conversion programme takes off
Viking
The programme only covers a handful of planes but is preparing the new generation of Viking water bombers. Longview Aviation Services (LAS) flew the first CL-215 modified as a CL-415EAF (Enhanced Aerial Fighter) at the start of the month. The work was carried out by LAS in Calgary, in collaboration with Cascade Aerospace, using a conversion kit supplied by Viking.

This aircraft, MSN 1081, is the first of six ordered by Bridger Aerospace. The Montana-based company is expecting it for April in order to prepare for the season where fire risks in the region increase.

Viking's idea was to take over the programme from the end of the 80s that converts CL-215s into CL-215Ts and improve it - an idea which was quickly abandoned in favour of developing the CL-415. Therefore, it comprises an engine refit - with the piston engines replaced by turboprops (Pratt & Whitney PW123AFs) -, the installation of winglets and finlets and takes the CL-415's improved capabilities in terms of higher operating weights and increased capacity firebombing system, with retardant and foaming agent capacities - including a double-door drop system.

But the plane has also been modernised with other elements. LAS has installed a new avionics suite (Pro Line Fusion from Collins Aerospace) and an air-conditioning system in the flight deck. Obsolete systems and components have been replaced, while better corrosion protection has been applied. Finally, the CL-415EAF has been given special and humanitarian mission capabilities. All this will become standard in the new generation of aerial firefighting aircraft, the CL-515.

Viking will be providing maintenance for the planes which are covered by its M+ fully-inclusive support programme, including airworthiness maintenance management, in-service engineering and initial procurement.
Emilie Drab
Assistant editor
Civil aerospace, Air transport


 
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