Canadair CL-215

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Canada

TYPE: Firefighting, SAR and multirole transport amphibian

POWERPLANTS: CL-215 - Two 1565kW (2100hp) Pratt & Whitney R-2800-CA3 18 cylinder radial piston engines, driving three bladed constant speed propellers.

PERFORMANCE: CL-215 - Max cruising speed 290km/h (157kt). Max initial rate of climb 1000ft/min. Takeoff run from water at 17,100kg (37,700lb) all up weight 800m (2625ft). Range with a 1590kg (3500lb) payload at max cruising speed 1715km (925nm), or 2095km (1130nm) at long range cruise power.

WEIGHTS: CL-215 - Empty 12,220kg (26,940lb), typical operating empty 12,740kg (28,080lb), max takeoff from water 17,100kg (37,700lb), max takeoff from land 19,730kg (43,500lb).

DIMENSIONS: CL-215 -Wing span 28.60m (93ft 10in), length 19.82m (65ft 1in), height 8.98m (29ft 6in) on land or 6.88m (22ft 7in) on water. Wing area 100.3m2 (1080sq ft).

ACCOMMODATION: Flightcrew of two, plus accommodation in special missions variants for a third flightdeck member, a mission specialist and two observers. Passenger configuration for 30, or in a combi configuration for 11, with firebombing tanks retained and freight in forward fuselage. Fire retardant capacity of 6125kg (13,500lb).

ARMAMENT: None

OPERATORS: CL-215 - Greece, Spain, Thailand, former Yugoslavia, Venezuela.

HISTORY: While most production CL-215/415s have been for civilian/ government agency work where they serve as firebombers, a number have also been acquired for a range of military roles including maritime patrol, search and rescue and transport. The CL-215 first flew on October 23 1967, and 125 were built in different batches through to 1990. Primary customers were government agencies, including various Canadian province governments and France, plus the air forces of Greece, Italy and Yugoslavia. The status of the aircraft delivered to what was then Yugoslavia is unclear, while the Italian AF CL-215s have been transferred to a government agency. In the firefighting role the CL-215's capabilities are impressive, it can scoop up 5455 litres (1200 Imp gal/1440US gal) of water from a flat water source such as a lake in 12 seconds. Spain took delivery of a total of 20 CL-215s, of which eight were configured for maritime patrol and search and rescue work, while the Thai Navy operates two CL-215s, also configured for SAR. The final military CL-215 operator is Venezuela, its two aircraft are configured as passenger transports.
Canadair offers retrofit kits for CL-215s to the new Pratt & Whitney Canada PW123 turboprop powered CL-215T standard. Spain has ordered 15 retrofit kits for its aircraft.
The improved, new build CL-415 features the PW123s, but also an EFIS cockpit, higher weights and an increased capacity firebombing system. Its principle mission is that of a firebomber, but various special mission (including SAR and maritime patrol) and transport configurations are offered. The first CL-415 flew on December 6 1993.

 

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