Canadair CL-215

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Canadair CL-215
Canadair CL-215
Type: amphibious fire-fighting aircraft
Design country:

CanadaCanada Canada



First flight:

October 23, 1967



Production time:


Number of pieces:


A French civil defense CL-215 in front of the Roquefavour aqueduct (1975)

The Canadair CL-215 is a multi-purpose amphibious aircraft from the Canadian aircraft manufacturer Canadair Group (a current subsidiary of Bombardier Aerospace ), whose development was primarily aimed at fighting forest fires as a fire-fighting aircraft . The rights were sold to Viking Air in June 2016 .


The specifications for this type were established in 1963 at a symposium on forest fire fighting in Ottawa, Canada . At the beginning of 1966 it was decided to manufacture this type in series. The first flight took place on October 23, 1967. The Canadian province of Québec and the French civil defense were the first buyers with twenty and ten copies respectively. They were used to monitor forests and fight forest fires. Production was discontinued in 1990 and the successor Canadair CL-415 , which was available from 1993, was converted to the successor Canadair CL-415 - apart from the engine, which was essentially identical . Up until then, 125 pieces had primarily been delivered to Canadian provinces, but were also exported. Ten machines were delivered for rescue operations and coastal surveillance, two for passenger transport. They are still in use today.


Type and short name

  • CL-215-1A10: the original CL-215 with Pratt & Whitney R-2800 Double Wasp CA3 double radial engines
  • CL-215-6B11 variant CL-215T : using a retrofit kit, the original CL-215, in which the piston engines were replaced by PW123AF turbo props. Wing tips and tailplane were also changed (correspond to CL-415).
  • CL-215-6B11 variant CL-415: see article Canadair CL-415 , the successor model.


GreeceGreece Greece

ItalyItaly Italy

CanadaCanada Canada

PortugalPortugal Portugal

  • two CL-215s, in operation by SoREM

SpainSpain Spain

  • Ejército del Aire , 43 Grupo
  • Ministry of Environment (CEGISA): five former Spanish Air Force CL-215T

ThailandThailand Thailand

  • Royal Thai Navy: a copy of two CL-215s delivered in 1978 for reconnaissance and rescue flights.

TurkeyTurkey Turkey

United StatesUnited States United States

  • No exact figures are available.

Former operator

FranceFrance France

  • Sécurité Civile: 15 fire-fighting aircraft were in operation from 1969 to 1996, and have now all been replaced by CL-415. The French civil defense was among the first to use the CL-215. In 1975 2 of these French CL-215s were used in the above-mentioned fire in the Lüneburg Heath.

VenezuelaVenezuela Venezuela

  • CVG Ferrominera Orinoco: two CL-215s, one crashed in 1989, the other has been mothballed since then.

Yugoslavia Socialist Federal RepublicYugoslavia Yugoslavia

  • RV i PVO : five CL-215s had been in operation with the 676th Fire Fighting Squadron since 1981 until four were sold to Greece in 1995.


Cockpit of the CL-215 C-GDHN (" Buffalo 296")

The CL-215 is a twin-engine shoulder- wing amphibious flying boat in all-metal construction . It has a single-stage hull and rigidly mounted support floats under the wings. A retractable three-legged landing gear is available for landing on land, whereby the nose wheel retracts completely into the fuselage and the main landing gear wheels are moved into a high position under the wings , but remain outside the fuselage contour. For fire fighting, the CL-215 can hold 5,455 liters of water or extinguishing agent; in addition, 710 kg of foam concentrate can be loaded into separate tanks. The extinguishing water is usually taken up in a kind of touch-and-go maneuver on the body of water from which the water is taken. While the flying boat glides over the water at almost lift-off speed (approx. 80 kts / 150 km / h), the tanks are filled in a few seconds by the dynamic pressure of the water through special, extendable hoods on the underside of the fuselage . This time-saving process enables a large number of deployment cycles to be achieved in fire fighting. The water is also released through flaps on the underside of the hull.

Technical specifications

Canadair CL-215T
(CL-215 converted to turboprop with the same engine as CL-415)
Canadair fire fighting aircraft Canadair CL-215
(piston engines)
Canadair CL-215T
(converted to turboprop)
Canadair CL-415
Type Multipurpose amphibious aircraft
length 19.82 m
span 28.60 m 28.61 m
height 8.92 m 8.98 m
drive   Two Pratt & Whitney R-2800 -CA3 radial
engines with 1,566 kW each
Two Pratt & Whitney Canada PW123AF
propeller turbines with 2,380 WPS each
Cruising speed 291 km / h (at an altitude of 3,050 m) 287 km / h
Range 2,092 km with a 1,587 kg payload
and long-range engine power
2,427 km
Empty mass 12,161 kg 11,789 kg (as a fire-fighting aircraft: 12,043 kg)
Max. Takeoff mass on land 19,731 kg 19,800 kg
Max. Takeoff weight on the water 17,100 kg

See also

Web links

Commons : Canadair CL-215  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Bombardier says goodbye to water bombers , accessed on June 23, 2016
  2. Jürgen Schelling: The fire brigade comes from the sky In: Neue Zürcher Zeitung of July 27, 2017
  3. Hoyle Flight International 13. – 19. December 2011, p. 39.
  4. a b Keijsper 2008, p. 42.
  5. ^ "Canadian Civil Aircraft Register: Canadair CL-215" ( Memento of May 14, 2012 in the Internet Archive ). Transport Canada. Retrieved May 23, 2012.
  6. "Canadair CL-215 T (UD.13T)." ( Memento of February 4, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) Ejército del aire . Received: January 8, 2012.
  7. a b c d Keijsper 2008, p. 43.
  8. ^ Hoyle Flight International December 13-19, 2011, p. 49.
  9. ^ Air International October 1978, p. 188.
  10. Keijsper 2008, pp. 40-41.
  11. Aircraft accident data and report for Canadair CL-215-1A10, YV-O-INC-2, Puerto Ordaz in the Aviation Safety Network (English), accessed on April 26, 2012.
  12. Keijsper 2008, p. 44.