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Canadair CL-415


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The major differences of the CL-415 with its predecessor CL-215, are substantial although only visible in close range, and include:

  • Modern, new generation cockpit, with liquid crystals displays (LCD), as in most modern commercial planes.
  •  Turboprop engines, combined with modern airfoil propellers, resulting in spectacular increase of  performance, maneuverability and flight safety in the demanding environment of Aerial Fire fighting
  • Modern navigation and communication devices.
  • Aerodynamic aids that optimize the plane’s efficiency, especially in low altitude.
  • Hydraulic assisted control yokes
  • Larger lifting capacity, which, combined with the increased speed and climb rate, allow for more water drops per unit of time.
  • New, electronically controlled water release system, with 4 doors, which can be released all at once or sequentiall,y ensuring the best ground coverage depending the circumstances
  • Improved mixing system for fire retarding agent.

Its amphibious character, allows the use of nearby bodies of water for refilling the water tanks without the need to return to an airport. The load is enriched with a quantity of foam, multiplying the efficiency of the water drop 2-3 times. The advanced water release system with 4 doors, gives more choices to the crew, depending on the situation.

CL-415 Cockpit

Water release doors

The plane can be used in other roles too, due to its capability of transporting 8 passengers and 1 crew member besides the 2 flight crew members required.

  • Open sea search and rescue, using an on-board liferaft.
  • Forest-fire patrol with immediate engaging capability.
  • Support of aerial fire fighting operations, light transports of crew and technical personnel

CL-415MP cabin configurations

Moreover, the MP type planes, with the necessary equipment, can execute the following missions:

  • Castaway search with advanced electronic tracking systems (FLIR, Radar, SLAR) and rescue with the use of on-board liferaft.
  • Patient transportation
  • Paratrooper drops
  • Sea surveillance

The 7-year service of the plane has showed that is a very reliable resource. Nevertheless, its use in a very demanding environment which includes sea-water collection and low altitude release with turbulence and sudden currents, create a heavy demand in maintenance, which is performed with the following frequency:

  • Every 50/100 flight hours
  • Annual maintenance
  • Factory maintenance (PDM) every 6 years.

Technical Specifications


Manufacturer Bombardier
Mission Aerial fire-fighting / Search and Rescue
In service since 1999
Number of aircrafts 8 (+2 CL-415MP)
Crew (Fire-Fighting) 2 (Pilot - Copilot)
Crew (SAR) 4 (Pilot - Copilot - 2 SAR operators)
Crew CL-415MP (SAR) 5 (Pilot - Copilot - Navigator - 2 SAR operators)

Dimensions – Weights - Loads

Length 19,82 m
Wingspan 28,61 m
Height 8,98 m
Weight (empty) 12820 kgr (28300 lbs)
Weight «MP» (empty) 14500 kgr (32000lbs)
Typical mission take-off weight 17200 kgr (38000lbs)
Maximum take-off weight 18580 kgr (41000lbs) (as transport)
Max after scooping weight 21300 kgr (47000lbs)
Max water weight 6115 kgr (13500lbs)
Max retarding foam weight 907 kgr (2000lbs)
Passenger load 8 passengers + 1 observer


Type 2 x PW 123F
Power 2 x 2380 hp


Take-off Speed 88kts (163km/h)
Landing Speed 85kts (157km/h)
Cruise Speed 160 - 170kts (296 - 315km/h)
Maximum Speed 187kts (346km/h)
Max Take-off distance 1125 m (3.700 ft)
Service ceiling 6080m (20000ft)
Max Range 2426 km (1310 NM)
Typical mission duration 3,5 – 4 hours
Other data Water drop of 54.000lbs per hour (with a distance of 11Km between the fire and the water scooping point)

Avionics Equipment

Communications HF-VHF-VHF/FM
CL-415MP specific FMS-Auto pilot-FLIR-Radar