Production on CL-415 superscooper began in 1993 with 95 aircraft being built until 2015, originally by Canadair and then Bombardier. In mid-2016, Viking Air purchased the CL-415 Type Certificate from Bombardier along with the older CL-215 and CL-215T. The CL-415, operated by more than a dozen countries, can scoop up to 6,140 litres of water from a nearby source –adding chemicals if required by the situation – and drop it on a fire without returning to base.Viking explains the AUP, leveraging modern and reliable COTS systems to interface with specialized mission equipment, will address future operational and technical requirements over a horizon of more than 25 years. The system, designed as a complete integrated solution for a harmonized cockpit, will meet current regulatory requirements, while addressing supportability and end-of-life components inherent with aging technology.
The standardized cockpit, explains Viking, will feature an ergonomic flight deck with three large LCD displays and low instrument footprint for enhanced Flight Data Visualization that will help reduce pilot workload and provide focused information in a simplified cockpit design.
As a key component of the AUP, the Collins Pro Line Fusion digital avionics suite is a FAR/Part 25 certified scalable software-based system. The avionics suite’s core configuration features Flight Director, Flight Management System (FMS) coupled with SBAS-GPS and LPV capability, Terrain Awareness Warning System (TAWS), ADS-B Out, Synthetic Vision, crew alerting system display indicators, and a multi-functional keyboard panel with dual cursor controls – providing an alternative to touch screen commands.
A SATCOM system, Latitude Technologies Ionode System, Weather Radar, and Auto-Pilot are few of the available options under the Viking AUP. “The Canadair Aerial Firefighters are at the heart of Viking’s development strategy,” said Dan Seroussi, Viking’s customer service and product support program director. “These aircraft have incredible operational capabilities, and their versatility will allow them to accomplish a variety of missions in the future.
“We’re confident that not only will the Collins Pro Line Fusion Avionics suite help address the obsolescence issues and new regulatory requirements currently facing operators of CL-215T and CL-415 aircraft, it will also extend operators’ fleet longevity for many years to come,” added Seroussi.
Gregory Davis, Viking’s vice president of customer service and product support noted the Pro Line Fusion’s will form the backbone for the evolution and support of the aircraft for the next 25+ years. “I am excited to see this integrated avionics suite equipping current CL fleets as well as the new Viking CL-415EAF Enhanced Aerial Firefighter,” he said. “This system will also form the basis for any new production aircraft, allowing for seamless interoperability and maintainability between new and legacy aircraft.”
The AUP will initially be offered as an upgrade to operators of CL-215T or CL-415 who can select either a complete modification, including the supply and installation of the avionics suite, or as a parts kit for installation by an approved Maintenance Repair Organization.