Saskatchewan procures fifth Viking CL-215T from Cascade Aerospace

Cascade Aerospace has delivered its fifth Viking CL-215T Airtanker to Ministry of Environment of Saskatchewan in Canada.

A piston-engine powered aircraft has been transformed into a turboprop-powered aircraft.

This amphibious firefighting aircraft is the firm’s ninth Viking  conversion in total.

Government of Saskatchewan Wildfire Management executive director Steve Roberts said: “Converting the aircraft extends the life of our airtanker fleet out another 20 years.

“Our trials have shown the Viking CL-215T achieves substantially higher performance than its piston-engine predecessor, especially on longer duration fires.

“It cruises at the same speed but climbs faster and gets into the drop cycle sooner.” 

Saskatchewan’s present airtanker fleet comprises five Viking CL-215Ts, one Viking CL-215 and four Convair CV580As.

Cascade Aerospace executive vice-president & CEO Ben Boehm said: “We look forward to working with Viking and the many operators who currently fly upgradeable Viking CL-215’s to extend the life and upgrade the performance of their CL-215 fleet to provide continued firefighting services into the future”.

The conversion activities were undertaken at Cascade’s 230,000ft2 aircraft modification facility at Abbotsford, British Colombia.

The works included the installation of 75 Service Bulletins associated with the former Bombardier and now Viking CL-215T conversion kit; two Pratt & Whitney Canada PW123AF turboprop engines;  six new aircraft appendages including winglets and finlets; avionics upgrades; power-assisted flight controls; and a new power distribution system that needs full re-wiring of the aircraft.

Image: Viking CL-215T Airtanker just before first flight test. Photo: courtesy of Cascade Aerospace.