OTTAWA—Airbus Defence and Space and the Alberni, B.C.-based Coulson Group have signed a Memorandum of Understanding that covers the industrialization, supply and support of a new water bomber version of Airbus’ C295W transport aircraft.
Under the terms of the agreement Coulson Aircrane Ltd. will develop and manufacture a version of its Retardant Dropping System, which is already in operation with firefighting agencies, for the Airbus aircraft.
“The Coulson Next Gen Retardant Delivery System is thoroughly proven in service with our operations using the C-130 water bomber and will bring a powerful new capability to the C295W which is already an outstanding transport in its class,” manager of Coulson Aircrane, Britton Coulson, said. “Using this modular roll-on-roll-off system combined with our Next Gen Smart Controller, the C295W is an extremely cost-effective firefighting aircraft which is available as an unrestricted multi-role transport outside the fire season.”
Airbus said the system will consists of two roll-on-roll-off internal tanks, which can then be easily removed after the firefighting season, allowing the plane to take on multiple roles. Each tank can carry 3,500 litres of water or retardant and can be refilled in under seven minutes. When dispersing water or retardant, a cockpit control allows the pilot to adjust coverage based on speed and height.
The aerospace firm noted a prototype of the water bombing C295W has been flying since 2013.