A Canadian sister company of Viking Air Limited, which builds the CL-415 Aerial Firefighter, has launched the Viking CL-415EAF, called the Enhanced Aerial Firefighter. The company will convert and modify 11 acquired CL-215 firefighters to the upgraded turbine version that provides the basis of the EAF.
The company said finding qualified staff for the project is a difficult undertaking, hence it’s reinstating its Viking Academy paid-training program to provide job applicants with the technical training required for the positions. Both Longview Aviation Asset Management (LAAM), which owns the airplanes, and Viking are working with local post-secondary institutions to develop technologies and provide training for the program. The Southern Alberta Institute of Technology has also been engaged for personnel training in Alberta, and Viking is actively developing partnerships with companies participating in the British Columbia Technology Super Cluster initiative.
The conversion program forms part of a staged approach to leverage advances made with the LAAM-converted aircraft as the basis for the proposed Viking CL-515 new-production amphibious firefighting aircraft. It will feature updated avionics. To help launch the new aircraft manufacturing program, Viking has applied to the Canadian government’s Strategic Innovation Fund.
The CL-415 was developed from the piston-powered CL-215 Series 5 aircraft in combination with the advances from the T- conversion program. Improvements over the CL-215, which first appeared on the CL-215T, include winglets and finlets, higher operating weights, an increased capacity firebombing system, and the addition of a foam injection system. The aircraft is powered by two Pratt & Whitney PW 100 engines. Courtesy of AVweb.