De Havilland Canada will go ahead with building a next generation amphibious firefighting aircraft and is calling it the DHC-515 Firefighter. The factory will be located in Calgary and employ about 500 people to start. The aircraft will use the structure and many of the components of the CL-415 water scooper that De Havilland’s parent company, Longview Investments, purchased from Bombardier in 2016. The new aircraft will include state-of-the-art avionics and refined operational systems that De Havilland says will make it a powerful tool against a relentlessly aggressive climate-change-driven explosion of destructive wildfires all over the world.
“We understand the important role the previous aircraft have played in protecting people and property and as our climate continues to change and summers increase in both temperature and length, the DHC-515 will be an important tool for countries around the globe to use in putting out fires,” company CEO Brian Chafe said in a statement. The first customers are in Europe, where the CL-415 and its predecessor CL-215 are a firefighting mainstay. First deliveries are planned in the next four years.