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.

Just Posted

Neighbours fear impact of tent city residents on Goldstream Provincial Park

Langford residents opposed to campers voice concerns at campground gate

Victorians for Tranportation Choice survey Greater Victoria election candidates

Mayoral and council candidates from across Greater Victoria face 12 questions

Dementia Helpline seeks volunteers after dramatic increase in calls

First Link Dementia Helpline for those who lives with dementia or care partners

Province now allowing tent city campers to stay at Goldstream Park

Contrary to earlier reports, Ministry of Environment says there is no hard deadline for campers to leave, park open to public

Watch out for Pavement Patty: Drivers warned outside B.C. elementary school

New survey reveals unsafe school zones during 2018 back-to-school week

Horvat leads Canucks to 4-3 shootout victory over Kings

Vancouver dumps L.A. in NHL pre-season contest

Update: Search called off for missing plane between Edmonton and Chilliwack

Search efforts were concentrated along the Highway 5 corridor between Valemount and Kamloops

VIDEO: Hundreds line highway as family brings home body of B.C. teen

Northern B.C. showed their support by lining Hwy 16 as Jessica Patrick’s body returned to Smithers.

Why Whistler for ski jumping in 2026? Calgary proposal gets pushback

Calgary 2026 proposes re-using the 2010 ski jumping venue Whistler for that sport and nordic

Despite progress, threat of 232 tariffs dominates NAFTA negotiations

Any deal is seen to require congressional approval before Dec. 1 to survive new Mexican government

B.C. MP Todd Doherty receives award for saving man who collapsed on a plane

Conservative MP was flying from Vancouver to Prince George, B.C., in June last year

Alleged border jumper from Oregon facing 2 charges after police chase in B.C.

Colin Patrick Wilson charged with dangerous operation of motor vehicle, flight from a peace officer

More than 35 B.C. mayors elected without contest

No other candidates for mayor in the upcoming local election in 22 per cent of B.C. cities

Most Read