The proposed livery of Bridger’s CL-415EAF Enhanced Aerial Firefighter. The Viking CL-415EAF Conversion Program offered through Longview Aviation Asset Management is based on the Canadair CL-215T conversion program, and will incorporate modern upgrades. (LAAM/Viking Air)

Viking Air, LAAM secure first water bomber customer

Montana-based company buys five of first 11 converted water bomber aircraft

Montana-based Bridger Aerospace Group has signed a deal to purchase up to five water bombers, modified and upgraded by Viking Air and its parent company, Longview Aviation Asset Management (LAAM).

LAAM, based in Calgary, announced its first multiple aircraft “launch customer” for the Viking CL-415EAF Enhanced Aerial Firefighter conversion program. The first two aircraft are set to be delivered by 2020, timing to support that year’s forest firefighting season. The remainder will be delivered in subsequent years.

RELATED: Viking Air plans to hire 200 to launch water bomber program.

The conversion program is starting with 11 CL-215 candidate aircraft, supplied by LAAM. They will undergo modification in Calgary, using conversion kits supplied by Viking Air, based in North Saanich at the Victoria International Airport. LAAM stated in a media release that they expect the project will employ close to 200 technical and support staff. Viking Air will provide maintenance and support.

“We are pleased to be the launch customer for LAAM and Viking’s new Enhanced Aerial Firefighter aircraft program,” said Tim Sheehy, Bridger Aerospace’s founder and president. “Bridger has continually positioned itself on the forefront of next generation aerial firefighting techniques and this is yet another step in that direction.”

Headquartered in Bozeman, Montana Bridger Aerospace is a leader in the air attack segment of the aerial forest firefighting sector. Bridger operates air attack, aerial imaging and aerial survey aircraft across all 50 states.

“Bridger’s recognition of the benefits offered by an amphibious aircraft to protect the environment and local communities throughout the United States is a key indicator of the suitability of the CL-415EAF for the US firefighting market,” added LAAM’s Chief Operating Officer Robert Mauracher, “and we look forward to working together in the development of these aircraft.”

The converted CL-215 aircraft will for the basis of the Viking CL-415-EAF and be fitted with new turbine engines, increased fire retardant capacity, a new digital avionics suite and more upgrades. LAAM stated in a media release that its modified water bomber “will outperform competitors” with a short scooping distance and the ability to sustain major fire suppression.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Hundreds celebrate Year of the Rat in Victoria’s Chinatown

Lion dancers and kung fu demonstrations on display

Camosun student shares story of overcoming struggles to inspire others

Provincial Tuition Waiver Program helps former youths in care attend post-secondary institutions

Officials reaching out to those in contact with Canada’s first coronavirus patient

The illness has sickened at least 1,975 people and killed 56 in China

Canada’s basketball community mourns Kobe Bryant after helicopter crash

Bryant was an 18-time NBA all-star who won five championships

‘Devastated’: Fans, celebrities remember Kobe Bryant after his death

Bryant played all of his 20-year career with the NBA with the Los Angeles Lakers

Investigation launched after six dead puppies dumped in Richmond hotel parking lot

RAPS reminds people they can always give up puppies they can’t take care of

Canadian Lunar New Year celebrations dampened by coronavirus worries

But Health Minister Patty Hajdu said today that the risk of infection is low

B.C. VIEWS: New coronavirus outbreak an important reminder

Walking the line between cautious and alarmist

Kobe Bryant, daughter killed in California helicopter crash

Bryant entered the NBA draft straight out of high school in 1996

Risk of coronavirus low in B.C. as first case emerges in Toronto: officials

There have been no confirmed cases of the virus in B.C.

Most Read