Bozeman, Montana, April 15th, 2020: Longview Aviation Services (LAS) of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, in cooperation with Viking Air Limited of Victoria, British Columbia, is pleased to announce the first Viking CL-415EAF “Enhanced Aerial Firefighter” has been delivered to launch customer Bridger Aerospace Group (Bridger Aerospace) of Bozeman, Montana, USA.
Bridger Aerospace became the launch customer for the Viking CL-415EAF “Enhanced Aerial Firefighter” program after signing a multiple aircraft purchase agreement in May of 2018. The contract with all options exercised is valued at $204M and covers the sale of six CL-415EAF amphibious aerial firefighting aircraft.
Manufacturer’s serial number (MSN) 1081, the first Canadair CL-215 to undergo the major modification to the EAF “Enhanced Aerial Firefighter” configuration, took its inaugural flight on March 9th, 2020 outside of program-collaborator Cascade Aerospace’s facility in Abbotsford, British Columbia.
After application of Bridger’s livery at International Aerospace Coatings’ facility in Spokane, Washington, MSN 1081 flew over the central Rocky Mountain range to Bozeman, Montana for delivery to Bridger Aerospace in advance of the 2020 North American wildfire season.
Tim Sheehy, founder and CEO of Bridger Aerospace Group, stated, “Aggressive Initial Attack and advanced technology in support of the wildland firefighter are the core of Bridger’s ethos. The Viking CL-415EAF is the most capable initial attack asset on the planet and we are proud to be the launch customer for this incredible capability.”
Robert Mauracher, Executive Vice President Sales & Marketing for Viking, commented, “We are very excited and proud to be delivering our first Viking CL-415EAF Enhanced Aerial Firefighter to Bridger Aerospace in time for the 2020 North American wildfire season. The delivery of our first Enhanced Aerial Firefighter is the culmination of a multi-faceted collaborative project originally launched in 2018 and represents the solid partnership that has developed between Viking, LAS, and Bridger over the past 24 months. We are now looking forward to adding a second aircraft to their fleet in the coming months.”
The CL-415EAF “Enhanced Aerial Firefighter” modification program, announced in 2018 as a collaboration between the two subsidiaries of Longview Aviation Capital, provides an economic boost throughout Western Canada derived from job creation, aerospace manufacturing innovation, supply chain development, academic partnerships, and global export opportunities.
The Viking CL-415EAF modification program forms part of a staged approach to utilize the advancements made with the LAS converted aircraft as the basis for the proposed next- generation Viking CL-515 new-production aerial firefighting and multi-purpose amphibious aircraft.
About the CL-415EAF “Enhanced Aerial Firefighter”:
The Viking CL-415EAF “Enhanced Aerial Firefighter” is a specially selected CL-215 airframe converted to turbine configuration using Viking-supplied conversion kits. It features a new Collins Pro Line Fusion® integrated digital avionics suite, Pratt & Whitney PW123AF turbine engines, increased fire-retardant capacity, and improvements to numerous aircraft systems.
The Viking CL-415EAF represents the evolution of the type, providing best-in-class water drop performance utilizing the higher delivery 2-door water drop system combined with a zero-timed maintenance program and a “new aircraft” factory-supported warranty program. All obsolete components impacting the worldwide fleet of CL-215 & CL-415 aircraft are replaced in the CL- 415EAF, and the upgraded aircraft is designed to failsafe FAR 25 certification criteria with no preset life limit.
The very short scooping distance of the CL-415EAF aircraft is expected to outperform competitors from initial attack to sustained major fire suppression, and the combination of safety and longevity represents exceptional value inherent in purpose-built aerial firefighting amphibious aircraft.
The CL-415EAF aircraft is the only aerial firefighter with factory OEM support offered by Viking’s Customer Service & Product Support division, including management of all Continuing Airworthiness, warranty items, in-service engineering, initial provisioning, as well as offering Viking’s M+ all-inclusive maintenance support program. All improvements and obsolescence issues addressed in the CL-415EAF aircraft will become the new aircraft production standard in the manufacture of an all new, next generation CL-515 multi-purpose amphibious aircraft.
About Bridger Aerospace:
Headquartered in Bozeman, Montana, Bridger Aerospace is a federally certified operator in the Air Attack, Air Tanker and UAV segments of the aerial forest firefighting sector. Bridger operates Air Attack, Air Tanker and UAVs in support of USFS and DOI fire suppression operations. Bridger and its affiliate companies were founded in 2014 and have been flying in support of the US forest firefighting sector since late 2014. For additional information, please visit www.bridgeraerospace.com.
About Longview Aviation Services:
Located at the Calgary International Airport, Longview Aviation Services (LAS) was established in 2018 in partnership with Viking Air Limited to launch the CL-415EAF “Enhanced Aerial Firefighter” aircraft upgrade and modification program. The CL-415EAF combines the proven performance of the CL-215 airframe with modern upgrades to create the next generation of the world’s only purpose-built aerial firefighter and multi-mission amphibious platform. For additional information, please visit www.lvas.ca.