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The Canadair 415 is the latest in Canadair's line of multi-role amphibious aircraft beginning with the CL-215 in the 1960s. The Canadair 415 amphibian is a high-wing, turboprop aircraft that evolved from over 25 years of experience with the CL-215 firefighting amphibious aircraft. It features a four-compartment, four-door water tank system that can hold 6137 litres (1621 US gallons) of water/foam mixture and refills its tanks by skimming the surface of any suitable body of water. The Canadair 415, although externally similar to its predecessor, is quite a new machine. It features Pratt & Whitney Canada turboprops, an air-conditioned glass cockpit, and powered flight controls. Compared to the CL-215, it has increased operating weight and speed yielding improved productivity. Aircraft systems have been updated for easier maintainability. In its firefighting configuration, the Canadair 415 is ideal for Initial Attack on forest fires; getting to the fire at the earliest stages and repeatedly dropping large amounts of fire suppressing foam.The Canadair 415 amphibian is also well suited to other missions such as maritime surveillance, coastal patrol, search and rescue, utility transport and resource protection The Canadair 415 production program was launched in October of 1991. The Canadair 415 first flew in December 1993 and the first aircraft was delivered in November 1994.

General

Cost Approx. $35 million (Canada)
Crew 2
Passengers 8 / 30 with tanks removed


Power Plant

Engines 2 x Pratt & Whitney Canada PW123AF turboprops
Power 2 x 1775 kW (2380 shp)
Propeller Hamilton Standard 14SF-19 four-blade, diameter 3.97 m
Fuel consumption 840 litres/hour typical


Dimensions

Length 19.82 m
Height 8.98 m
Span 28.61 m
Wing area 100.33 sq m
Cabin length 9.38 m excluding cockpit
Cabin width 2.39 m maximum
Cabin height 1.90 m
Cabin volume 35.6 cu m excluding cockpit


Weights

Operating weight empty 12861 kg
Max. payload 6123 kg
Integral water tank capacity 6160 litres (1622 US gal)
Fuel capacity 5796 litres (1530 US gal)
Max. zero-fuel weight 19051 kg
Max. ramp weight 19958 kg
Max. take-off weight 19890 kg on land, 17169 kg w\o disposable load
Max. lift-off weight after water scoop 20865 kg
Max. landing weight 16783 kg


Performance

Max. cruise speed 376 km/h at 5000 ft/ISA
Initial rate of climb 7 m/s at max. weight
Takeoff distance 844 m or 814 m on water
Landing distance 674 m on land, 664 m on water
Max. Range 2427 km (1310 NM)
Water dropped per hour 54140 l, when 11 km from fire
Scooping time to refill tanks 12 seconds

Scooping*

Stat. Miles

Kilometers

Mins/Drop

Drops/Hour

US gals/hour

Litres/hour

0

0.0

2.0

30.0

48,600

184,100

1

1.6

2.7

22.3

36,072

136,649

2

3.2

3.4

17.7

28,679

108,643

3

4.8

4.1

14.7

23,801

90,163

4

6.4

4.8

12.6

20,341

77,057

5

8.0

5.5

11.0

17,759

67,277

6

9.7

6.2

9.7

15,759

59,759

7

11.3

6.9

8.7

14,164

53,657

8

12.9

7.6

7.9

12,862

48,725

9

14.5

8.3

7.3

11,779

44,623

10

16.1

8.9

6.7

10,865

41,158

11

17.7

9.6

6.2

10,082

38,193

12

19.3

10.3

5.8

9,404

35,626

13

20.9

11.0

5.4

8,812

33,383

14

22.5

11.7

5.1

8,290

31,405

15

24.1

12.4

4.8

7,862

29,648

16

25.7

13.1

4.6

7,412

26,665

17

27.4

13.8

4.3

7,039

26,665

18

29.0

14.5

4.1

6,702

25,388

19

30.6

15.2

3.9

6,396

24,228

20

32.2

15.9

3.8

6,116

23,169

25

40.2

19.4

3.1

5,019

19,014

http://www.bombardier.com/index.jsp?id=3_0&lang=en&file=/en/3_0/3_3/3_3_5.html

 

It takes only 12 seconds, travelling at 130 km/h (70 knots) to scoop up the 6137-litre (1621-US gallon) water load. This requires an on-water distance of only 410 metres (1350 feet). The Bombardier 415 can scoop water from sites as shallow as 2 metres (6.5 feet) and 90 metres (300 feet) wide. This means that a great number of water sites can be used to reload its tanks. The aircraft doesn't need a completely straight scooping path. Since it's still in "flying" mode while scooping, the pilots can maneuver the Bombardier 415 around river bends or avoid visible obstacles in the water. As well, if the water site is too small for a full pick-up, the Bombardier 415 can take a partial load and return to the fire.

 

Pilot Information

I have recieved several requested from pilots asking how to go about getting to fly the 415. I contacted a pilot from the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and I'll post his reply below. Of course, the requirements would vary depending on who you were flying for, but maybe this will give you an idea.

  "As for the 415 - the way to get on it is to start with MNR on Turbo Beaver for a year or 2 or 3 and then you bid on it. MNR pays the training. The problem is getting in MNR in the first place as they require a couple thousand hours, mostly on floats.
As for getting the training on you're own - it would cost a fortune and nobody would hire with an endorsement but no time on type. I would also consider going to any one of the other outfits, Airspray, Conair, Buffalo etc - and getting on a different type of bomber as the requirements are lower. "
 

That's all I could gather, but if any current or previous pilots would like to share any further information it would be greatly appreciated!

 

An air-conditioned glass cockpit and powered flight controls are one improvement over the older CL-215.
Looking aft from the entry point, you can see the top part of each water tank. The top of the tanks open out through the fusilage to allow excess water taken in while scooping to vent back into the lake.
Two of the 4 hydraulic tank doors are visible from either side. Pilots can control how many and how quickly the doors open to adjust the drop pattern. A probe housing is also visible aft of the doors.
One of two probes under the aircraft. This is what actually scoops the water up into the tanks using only the velocity of the aircraft. These probes usually lie flush with the body, as in the left image, and are extended only when scooping. You can pull them down with your hand to get a better look.

 

Comments and Questions
Email: 415@oognok.ca