04 Januari 2019

New Version of Amphibian : Viking Air CL-515

04 Januari 2019

Project image of turboprop aircraft amphibian CL-515, developed by Canadian company Viking Air (image : Viking Air)

The Canadian aircraft manufacturer Viking Air Ltd (British Columbia Province) distributed the first images of the CL-515 two-engine turboprop amphibious aircraft, which is a further development of the design of the well-known amphibious aircraft Canadair (Bombardier) CL-215 and CL-415. In 2016, Viking Air acquired a program for the production of amphibious aircraft (turboprop CL-415 and previously produced piston CL-215 and its turboprop remotorized version CL-215T), including their type certificates and after-sales service, from the Canadian company Bombardier. The CL-215 and CL-415 aircraft are mainly used as firefighters, and as such, the main application of the CL-515 is also planned.

Viking Air announced its intention to resume production of amphibious aircraft CL-415 in an updated form, which was now the CL-515 aircraft. Apparently, the distribution of images of the CL-515 indicates the final approval of this commercial project by the management of Viking Air (previously it was reported that the decision to resume production of the updated amphibian should have been made by the company by the end of 2018). However, it is reported that the official launch of the program CL-515 will be announced by the end of the first quarter of 2019. The beginning of deliveries CL-515 is tentatively planned for 2024.

Bombardier CL-415 (photo : Lihutao)

The Canadair CL-415 amphibious aircraft was manufactured by Bombardier Aerospace (which absorbed Canadair in 1986) from 1993 to 2015, with a total of 95 aircraft built. In recent years, the production of CL-415 at Bombardier was carried out almost piece by piece and was unprofitable for the company. In 2012, Bombardier did not deliver a single CL-415 aircraft, and in 2013, 2014 and 2015, it delivered two aircraft a year. As a result, in December 2015, Bombardier announced the suspension of production of the CL-415 until it received new orders and closed the aircraft data acquisition center, and then fully sold the program for their release to Viking Air.

According to data released by Viking Air, the updated CL-515 aircraft will have a 15% greater payload than the CL-415 (in particular, in the fire-fighting variant, take 7000 liters of water instead of 6000 liters from the CL-415) and have 12-15% better fuel efficiency. It is planned that the aircraft CL-515 will be offered, in addition to the main fire-fighting option, also in the agricultural, cargo (with a large cargo door), passenger (capacity 12 passengers), medical (capacity three stretchers) and patrol variants. The CL-515 aircraft will be equipped with two Pratt & Whitney Canada PW123AF turboprop engines and a modern avionics complex.

Now the main work of Viking Air on the program of amphibious aircraft is implemented since May 2018 in partnership with Longview Aviation Asset Management (LAAM, Calgary province, controlled by Longview Aviation Capital Corporation - the parent group of Viking Air) program of modernization of 11 LAAM-owned piston fire-fighting amphibians CL-215 version of the CL-415EAF (Enhanced Aerial Firefighter) with the equipment of turboprop engines and the new avionics complex.

Canadair CL-215 (photo : Dutch)

According to Viking Air, about 170 amphibians of the CL-215 / CL-415 family in 21 countries are in operation in the world.

Earlier in 2006, Viking Air acquired from Bombardier the rights to manufacture another well-known aircraft - the DHC-6 Twin Otter (including in the float version), having resumed its mass production in the updated version of the Twin Otter Series 400 from 2010 and successfully implemented these machines. on the market, by now putting more than 150 aircraft of its assembly. At the same time, Viking Air since 2005 also holds the rights to all other aircraft of the former De Havilland Canada (then Bombardier) from DHC-1 to DHC-7, although their release has not been carried out for a long time. 

Finally, in November 2018, the head structure of Viking Air, Longview Aviation Capital Corporation, reached an agreementthe purchase from Bombardier of the entire program for the production of regional turboprop aircraft Q400 Dash 8, including also intellectual property rights in relation to the now discontinued production of Dash 8 airplanes of the 100, 200 and 300 series, and after-sales service rights for the Dash 8 aircraft; De Havilland brand.


19 komentar:

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