Canadair CL-215

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CL-215
CL215 43 Grupo.jpg
Role Firefighting amphibious aircraft
Manufacturer Canadair
First flight 23 October 1967
Introduction 1969
Status Production completed
Primary users Canada
Greece
Spain
Produced 1969–1990
Number built 125
Variants Canadair CL-415
Cockpit of a Buffalo Airways Canadair CL-215

The Canadair CL-215 (Scooper) was the first model in a series of firefighting flying boat amphibious aircraft built by Canadair and later Bombardier. The CL-215 is a twin-engine, high-wing aircraft designed to operate well at low speeds and in high gust-loading environments, as are found over forest fires.

Design and development[edit]

The "bomb door" from which the water is dropped

The CL-215 can be traced back to two early projects by Canadair, the CL-43 and CL-204. The CL-43 was conceived as a logistics aircraft and was based on the design of the Canadian Vickers-built 369 Canso (a variant of the Consolidated PBY Catalina).[1] Arising from an earlier 1960s research study at the company, the original concept was for a twin-engined floatplane transport, that was altered into a "firefighter" as a result of a request by forestry officials in the Quebec Service Aérien (Quebec Government Air Service) for a more effective way of delivering water to forest fires. The 1962 preliminary design, the CL-204, was a purpose-designed water bomber that evolved into an amphibian flying boat configuration, powered by two shoulder-mounted 2,100 hp (1,566 kW) Pratt & Whitney R-2800 piston engines. The definitive design known as the CL-215 received a program go-ahead in February 1966 with its maiden flight on 23 October 1967.[2] The first delivery was to the French civil protection agency (Sécurité Civile, then known as Protection Civile) in June 1969. Production of CL-215s progressed through five series ending in 1990.

Variants[edit]

In 1987, the CL-215T was announced, with improvements in handling brought about by design changes to the wings and empennage, and more powerful Pratt & Whitney turboprop engines. Originally the follow-up CL-215T was to be a simple turboprop-powered development of the CL-215, and Canadair converted two aircraft in 1989 to act as development aircraft. The first of these flew on 8 June 1989. Retrofit kits for CL-215s to the new standard are offered, but Canadair elected not to build new CL-215Ts and instead developed the CL-415.[citation needed]

Cascade Aerospace, Canada, offers CL-215 to CL-215T engine retrofits using the Bombardier kit and Pratt & Whitney Canada PW123AF engines and is currently the only conversion kit installer in the world.[3]

Operators[edit]

Canadair CL-215 in Canadian civil service
One of Minnesota DNR's Scoopers. The department lent the aircraft to the effort to fight the California wildfires of October 2007, and it is seen here at Fox Field
Water tanks with fire suppressant tank at the rear. At the top of the tanks are funnels that spill excess water collected during replenishment operations out of the side of the aircraft.

Over a period of 21 years beginning in 1969, 125 of these aircraft were built and sold to customers in 11 countries.

 Canada

As of January 2016 there were 59 CL215 registered with Transport Canada.[4]

 Greece

 Italy
 Spain
 Thailand
 Turkey
 United States

Former operators[edit]

 Croatia
 France
 Venezuela
  • CVG Ferrominera Orinoco: two CL-215s, one crashed on 1989, the other one has been parked ever since[16]
 Yugoslavia
  • Yugoslav Air Force: five CL-215s in service with the 676th Fire Fighting Squadron from 1981, until four sold to Greece in 1995.[17]

Accidents and incidents[edit]

CL-215s have been involved in 30 accidents, 19 fatal.[18]

Aircraft on display[edit]

Specifications (CL-215)[edit]

A turboprop-powered CL-215T of the Spanish Air Force
CL-215s belonging to the Canadian province of Alberta

Data from Jane's All the World's Aircraft 1984–85[21]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 2
  • Capacity: Up to 26 forward facing seats for passenger transport
  • Length: 19.82 m (65 ft 0 in)
  • Wingspan: 28.6 m (93 ft 10 in)
  • Height: 8.92 m (29 ft 3 in)
  • Wing area: 100.33 m2 (1,079.9 sq ft)
  • Aspect ratio: 8.15
  • Empty weight: 12,160 kg (26,808 lb)
  • Max takeoff weight: 19,731 kg (43,499 lb) on land, 17,100 kg (37,700 lb) on water
  • Fuel capacity: 5,910 l (1,561.3 US gal; 1,300.0 imp gal) in two fuel tanks, of eight cells each, in the wings
  • Powerplant: 2 × Pratt & Whitney R-2800-83AM 18-cyl air-cooled radial piston engines, 1,566 kW (2,100 hp) each
  • Propellers: 3-bladed Hamilton Standard Hydromatic constant-speed fully-feathering propeller

Performance

  • Cruising speed: 291 km/h (181 mph; 157 kn) at 18,595 kg (40,995 lb) and 3,050 m (10,010 ft)
  • Stall speed: 123 km/h (76 mph; 66 kn) 25° flap power off at 15,603 kg (34,399 lb)
  • Range: 2,094 km (1,301 mi; 1,131 nmi) with 1,587 kg (3,499 lb) payload at long-range cruise power
  • Rate of climb: 5.0833 m/s (1,000.65 ft/min)

Avionics

  • Dual VHF and VHF/FM comms,
  • VOR/ILS receivers
  • ADF
  • Marker Beacon Rx
  • Transponder

See also[edit]

Related development
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Canadair C.L.204." Secretprojects.co.uk. Retrieved: 26 April 2012.
  2. ^ Taylor 1976, p.17.
  3. ^ "Aerial Fire Control." Cascade Aerospace. Retrieved: 23 May 2012.
  4. ^ "Canadian Civil Aircraft Register: Quick Search Result for CL215". Retrieved 2016-01-16. 
  5. ^ "Canadair CL-215 - Environment". Government of Saskatchewan (=Environment.gov.sk.ca ). Retrieved: 14 July 2014.
  6. ^ Hoyle Flight International 13–19 December 2011, p. 39.
  7. ^ Keijsper 2008, p. 42.
  8. ^ "Canadair CL-215 T (UD.13T)." Ejército del aire. Retrieved: 8 January 2012.
  9. ^ Keijsper 2008, p. 43.
  10. ^ Hoyle Flight International 13–19 December 2011, p. 49.
  11. ^ Air InternationalOctober 1978, p. 188.
  12. ^ "Turkey's Single Airborne Fire Fighting Fleet". Gokcen Aviation, 2013. Retrieved: 14 July 2014.>
  13. ^ "Our Equipment | Aero-Flite,Inc.Aero-Flite,Inc." Aerofliteinc.com. Retrieved: 14 July 2014.
  14. ^ "Canadair 215." worldmilitair.com. Retrieved: 25 August 2013.
  15. ^ Keijsper 2008, pp. 40–41.
  16. ^ "ASN Aircraft accident: Canadair CL-215-1A10, YV-O-INC-2, Puerto Ordaz." Aviation-safety.net. Retrieved: 26 April 2012.
  17. ^ Keijsper 2008, p. 44.
  18. ^ "Canadair CL-215 Accident database". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved: 29 June 2016.
  19. ^ a b c d Gabriel, Olivier. "Canadair CL-215 Bombardier d'eau" (in French). Netpompiers.fr. Retrieved: 23 May 2012.
  20. ^ "Canadair CL-215". Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre, 2012. Retrieved: 23 May 2012.
  21. ^ Taylor, John W. R., ed. (1984). Jane's all the World's Aircraft 1984–85 (75th ed.). London: Jane's Publishing Co. pp. 22–23. ISBN 0-7106-0801-2. 

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]