Luis Calabor shot this video of Bombardier 215/415 air tankers scooping water and dropping on a fire near Berango in the Spanish province of Biscay. It was uploaded to YouTube on December 28, 2015.
Two water-scooping air tankers dropping water on the Princeton Fire in Ventura County, California interrupted a media briefing on November 7. The first air tanker appeared to just miss the crowd of reporters and cameras, but the aim of the second was better 😉 .
The fun starts at 1:35 in the video.
Bombardier has shut down their plant in North Bay, Ontario where they have been finishing the work of building CL-415 air tankers after the aircraft have been assembled in Montreal. The CL-415 and its predecessor, the CL-215, are among the very few purpose-built air tankers, designed from the wheels up to very specifically drop water on fires. Most air tankers used today have been converted after being discarded by the military and passenger airlines.
Below is an excerpt from an article in the Bay Today:
…Isabelle Gauthier, the Director of Communications for Bombardier Commercial Aircraft confirmed to BayToday that, “We will not be renewing our lease going forward” at North Bay’s Jack Garland Airport.
The lease ends in April 2016, but Bombardier was required to give at least 90 days notice Gauthier said.
“There are currently no aircraft in production,” explained Gauthier,”It didn’t make any business sense to continue.”
North Bay’s facility was for finishing the aircraft after assembly in Montreal, and three had been completed this year but no more were on the horizon.
“We need sales,” said Gauthier. “We need commitment to continue production.”
She said if sales are made, they may attempt to reopen the North Bay facility but “it’s not like turning on a light switch”.
“Activities are continuing for more sales”, she said, and Bombardier is “keeping the door open” to further involvement in North Bay if there are significant sales of the aircraft in future.
The video below was shot at Santa Fe Dam in January, 2014 where two CL-415s under contract with Los Angeles County were scooping water while working the Colby Fire at Glendora, California, east of Los Angeles.
The only water-scooping air tanker that the U.S. Forest Service has under exclusive use contract will be based at Lake Tahoe, California this summer at the South Lake Tahoe Airport. It recently returned from spending several weeks working on wildfires in Alaska.
The CL-415 can skim across the surface of a lake and scoop 1,600 gallons of water to fill its tank. If a suitable lake is near a fire, this capability can result in large quantities of water helping firefighters on the ground suppress a blaze — especially if two are working in tandem as they usually do in Canada. Water scooping air tankers are also used extensively in several European countries.
In October, 2013, the contract for the aircraft, with a potential value of $57 million, was awarded to Aero-Flite. It is a five year deal with a provision to add a second aircraft if both parties agree.
The CL-415 is leased from TENAX Aerospace by Aero-Flite. It is a brand new aircraft and is the only CL-415 in the United States.
In June, 2013 Aero-Flite received a contract from the U.S. Forest Service for two Avro RJ85 “next generation” air tankers.
(UPDATE July 24, 2015)
The Super Scooper made 21 drops of 1,621 gallons of water each on #KyburzFire yesterday. Total of 34,021 gallons were dropped on the fire
— EldoradoNF (@EldoradoNF) July 24, 2015
Mike sent us this photo taken by Chris Sherwin of firefighting aircraft based at Dryden Regional Airport in Ontario, Canada. He said, “There are 7 CL-415, 1 DHC-6, 2 DHC-2T and 1 EC-130 and owned by the Province of Ontario”.
VIDEO: #Repost @nbcla with @repostapp. ・・・ Take a look at this: NBC4 photographer Susan Monroe (@sumopix) happened to be driving by as fire crews battled a small brush fire along the 5 Freeway in Santa Clarita, when a pair of planes moved in and dropped
fire retardantwater. It took firefighters about 20 minutes to put out the flames.
The two CL-415s, under contract to Los Angeles County, actually dropped water, not fire retardant.