Cascade Aerospace works on modernization program with Saskatchewan

Ninth such engine conversion done by Casacade, will increase efficiency of aircraft

Abbotsford’s Cascade Aerospace is, once again, working with the Government of Saskatchewan.

Cascade Aerospace announced on Nov. 18 that it will conduct a Modernization Program to convert a piston-engine CL215 to a turbine-engine CL215T for the Ministry of Environment for the Government of Saskatchewan.

This CL215 Modernization program will consist of approximately eighty service bulletins to complete including: Piston to Turbine conversion; instrumentation and Wiring upgrade; and structural and aerodynamic improvements.

This conversion marks the ninth such conversion conducted by Cascade Aerospace and the fifth CL215 conversion for the Government of Saskatchewan.  The converted aircraft will not only convert the engine, but feature improved and modernized structural components, electrical distribution system and engine fuel system, in addition to the replacement of manual flight controls by powered systems to benefit from added engine power and reduced pilot workload.

Once modified, the aircraft will perform similarly to the renowned Bombardier 415 firefighting aircraft but at significantly reduced cost.  Globally, there are over 25 aircraft still eligible for this important upgrade available from Cascade Aerospace.

“The skills and knowledge developed over the previous eight CL215 conversions, have provided us with the capability to leverage our extensive aircraft modernization services to make this program a success for Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Environment;” said Ben Boehm, Executive Vice President and COO of Cascade Aerospace. “This converted aircraft for the Wildfire Management Branch, will support the Branch’s operability during fire season for years to come.”

After conversion, the CL215T will have a maximum cruise speed of about 350 Km/h (189 Knots), almost 20 per cent faster than the CL215. In an average mission of six miles from water to fire, the CL215T can complete ten drops in an hour, two more than the CL215, putting a total of 12,000 gallons of fire suppressant on a fire. Many operators benefit from this upgrade which not only reduces costs and obsolescence, but increases firefighting efficiency.

This program is already under way with the acquisition of the airframe and kit; the conversion activities begin in January 2016 with an estimated delivery in early 2017.