Bombardier has issued this statement:
- The first six aircraft to be supplied to Conair under its airtanker teaming agreement with Bombardier
- Aircraft will be modified to incorporate Conair’s proven Retardant Delivery System and interiors to accommodate passenger, cargo, combi, and medivac requirements
- Enhanced Q400 Multirole aircraft will join Bombardier’s fleet of over 1,000 specialized aircraft operating around the world
Bombardier Specialized Aircraft has announced that Conair Group Inc., the world’s leading provider of fixed wing aerial firefighting aircraft, has purchased six Q400 aircraft. Based on the current list price, the firm order is valued at approximately $206 million US.
Conair operates the world’s largest fleet of privately owned fixed wing airtankers and supplies specialty aerial firefighting aircraft and products worldwide. These six Q400 production aircraft will be modified to incorporate an enhanced version of Conair’s proprietary Retardant Delivery System. In the Q400 Multirole configuration, the retardant tank can be removed and reinstalled in the field in a few hours. This enables the aircraft to efficiently perform additional roles in emergency response, passenger and cargo transport, medivac, and coastal patrol without compromising its exceptional firefighting capabilities.
“The enhanced Q400 Multirole has the most advanced airtanker capabilities of any aircraft in service today,” said Barry Marsden, Chairman & CEO, Conair. “The Q400 Multirole’s versatility delivers optimal value by accommodating year-round service in passenger, cargo, combi transport, medivac, emergency response, surveillance and patrol without compromising state-of-the-art airtanker capabilities.”
“The Q400 Multirole delivers the efficiency, reliability, reduced downtime and low operating costs of the Q400 in a multi-role application. Combining turboprop economics and jet-like performance, the Q400 Multirole delivers exceptional value,” said Stéphane Leroy, Vice President, Bombardier Specialized Aircraft. “The Q400 Multirole is the ideal aircraft to meet Conair’s needs, offering a unique ability to serve diverse and challenging environments.”
The Q400 Multirole offers the ultimate in flexibility and is able to easily switch between firefighting, cargo and passenger transport, and medivac roles. The Q400 Multirole can operate out of unprepared strips, conduct steep approaches when landing, short take off, and deliver an impressive cruise speed of 667 km/hr.
Today, Bombardier has over 1,000 specialized aircraft in service around the world. For over 50 years, governments have selected Bombardier aircraft to perform military surveillance, intelligence and utility activities. Among the advantages of using off-the-shelf platforms for special missions are a reduced development time and faster time to market, civil certification, reliability, ease of maintenance and an international customer support network. Governments also benefit from Bombardier’s engineering and flight test experience, and its well-established relationships with top industry mission integrators.
Conair operates the largest privately owned fleet of fixed wing firefighting aircraft in the world. Founded in Canada 49 years ago, Conair’s operations now extend to Canada, the United States of America, Europe, and Australia. Conair has developed a number of proprietary aerial firefighting products and Supplemental Type Certificates (STC) for modification of aircraft for aerial firefighting.
Originally called Conair Aviation Ltd., the company was formed in 1969 as a subsidiary of Skyway Air Services of Langley, British Columbia.
Current CEO, Barry Marsden, was one of the founding members of the company that began with 35 employees and 19 aircraft.
While initially doubling as both a budworm spraying and aerial fire fighting business, the next two decades saw significant expansion of Conair’s fleet, capabilities and services in the aerial fire fighting sector.
Today, with more than 250 employees and 65 aircraft, Conair is a world leader in fixed wing aerial fire management services and products.
All images by Conair.