Find out what it’s like to fight forest fires with the Canadian-made Bombardier 415 (and older Canadair CL-215). Visitors can hear pilots tell their experience flying over dangerous fire conditions and watch videos showing the water bombers in action fighting raging forest infernos. The display includes photos, videos and scaled model aircraft.
Water Bombers Here in Manitoba
Winnipeggers driving in the vicinity of James Armstrong Richardson Airport may have noticed several bright red and yellow propeller-driven aircraft on the tarmac. Frequently cited as the world’s best water bomber, the Bombardier 415 is a turboprop plane capable of carrying more than 55,000 litres of water. The four Bombardier 415 water bombers in Winnipeg were ordered in 2010 as part of a $126 million upgrade to the province’s forest firefighting program.
The Canadair CL-215 was the world’s first purpose-built water bomber. Bombardier acquired Canadair in 1986 and went on to upgrade the water bomber with better avionics, turboprop engines (instead of radial engines) as well as modifying the aerodynamic surfaces.
In 2014, Manitoba Government Air Service was using four 415s and two 215s for this work. Don’t miss this temporary exhibit that showcases this present-day lifesaving workhorse!
In the photo above is a Canadair CL-215 (left) and newer Bombardier 415 (in foreground). The photos below are of the newer Bombardier 415.