Enthusiasm for Canadair's new flagship air tanker, the DHC-515

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Crazy for the new flagship of the Canadair tanker planes, the DHC-515

De Havilland's new flagship, the DHC 515, is a tanker capable of dumping 6,000 liters of water in 12 seconds.

More and more European countries, including France, are interested in acquiring the new flagship of Canadian aviation: the DHC-515. This water bomber produced by the Toronto company De Havilland is capable of dumping 6000 liters of water in 12 seconds.

Canadair water bombers like the CL-215 are the most famous firefighters in the world. The newest, the DHC-515, is already on the order list of six European countries, including France, Greece and Italy.

We believe it's a good market, that's what allowed us to make this decision to invest, explains the vice-president of programs and business improvement at De Havilland, Jean-Philippe Côté. The CL-215 fleet is aging over time, even though they are extremely robust aircraft.

“We will be able to replace some of those planes [the CL-215s] with the relaunch of production. But also, with the increase in the number of forest fires, climate change, we see certain countries which had not bought these planes in the past and which are beginning to approach us. »

— Jean-Philippe Côté, Vice President, Programs and Business Improvement, De Havilland

French President Emmanuel Macron wants to buy more “Canadair” planes. We have 12 Canadair today. At all times, we have 10 to 11 that are used. It's unprecedented. Do we need more? The answer, pretty sure: yes!

After France, Spain and Portugal, it is around the island of Lesbos in Greece to be ravaged by flames. Residents and tourists were evacuated from the area this morning, while seven planes were deployed to control the fire. Tanker planes or bombers, like the ''Canadair'', which have proven to be indispensable over the past few days in the four corners of Europe. Order books are overflowing. Reporting by Gabrielle Proulx

Jean-Philippe Côté estimates that the first aircraft will be delivered in 2026. Of the 22 aircraft already ordered, we plan to deliver the last around 2029.

However, the numbers are lacking, according to John Gradek of McGill University. We need 500 people on the production side to build the device and we only have about ten or fifteen people at the moment who are able to work on the assembly line, says this aviation expert.

You have to find people and train them, he says. That is the question of the hour: can we really speed up this period of training and hiring? It's really up to the government to decide how much effort to put into hiring policies, says John Gradek.

An engine constitutes 25% of the value of an aircraft.

The DHC-515 will mainly be assembled in Calgary, Alberta. But its construction should benefit a range of suppliers and create jobs across the country, according to Aéro Montréal.

These planes are equipped with engines from Pratt and Witney Canada, manufactured in Longueuil . So we also know that 25% of an aircraft engine represents, in terms of value, 25% of the price, explains the president and CEO of Aéro Montréal, Suzanne Benoît.

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In addition, adds the CEO, the DHC-515 will benefit many companies. There is also the whole supply chain. Several small SMEs, larger SMEs too, are suppliers, are subcontractors for the CL-415.

With information from Gabrielle Proulx

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