Now that the C295, RCAF’s newest aircraft, is being welcomed to the fleet, the Air Force has to figure out what to do with some of its longest-serving airframes. The RCAF still operates six CC-115 Buffalo search and rescue aircraft. The venerable Buffs started service in 1967 and there were originally 16 of them. The remaining aircraft are based at CFB Comox on Vancouver Island and used for search and rescue in the rugged mountains and coastal areas of the westernmost province. The first C295 will be operational by summer of 2020 and the RCAF must determine the fate of the well used but well maintained and upgraded Buffalos.
It’s a given that some will go to museums but it’s not clear how many have been claimed. In the past, surplus aircraft have been sold to the highest bidder through the Crown Assets division of the government but the RCAF isn’t saying if any Buffs will be available. “The disposal plan for the CC-115 Buffalo fleet is currently being developed in close collaboration between the Royal Canadian Air Force and Assistant Deputy Minister (Materiel),” the Department of National Defence told the Ottawa Citizen. “As with all major equipment, we are developing a disposal plan that supports operations and returns the best value for the Crown, including consideration of heritage and public interest.”