I went to see the Viking Air aircraft factory in British Columbia six years ago, then it started production of the new Twin Otter Series 400. The prototype that could not be photographed shown on wheels and its amphibious floats rested himself in the factory courtyard between the old timer seaplanes.
Photo: Bombardier Aerospace
Bombardier terminated the production of the amphibious water bomber CL415 last year because of the additional resources were needed for development delays of his new regional jet family, the CSeries.
Viking Air factory is a world famous in the market because previously acquired and developed the iconic aircraft types of DeHavilland Canada in a similar manner, such as Beaver and Twin Otter.
Images: Repülni JÓ (Flying is GOOD)
Who have taken over the further seaplane heritage, if not the Viking Air? We cite those press releases, which the companies were issued late last month.
“Viking Air Limited (“Viking”), a global leader of utility aircraft, support and services and manufacturer of the world-renowned Twin Otter, today announced the acquisition of the worldwide amphibious aircraft program from Bombardier (TSX: BBD.A) (TSX: BBD.B) (OTCQX: BDRBF). The amphibious aircraft program includes the Bombardier CL-415 waterbomber and its variants, as well as the earlier CL-215 and CL-215T versions. The Bombardier 415 is the aviation industry’s benchmark amphibious aircraft and the backbone of firefighting missions around the globe. Designed and built in Canada with a heritage that dates back almost 50 years, it is the only western aircraft purpose-built for firefighting.
The transaction will see Viking acquire the Type Certificates (manufacturing rights) for all variants of Bombardier’s amphibious aircraft, and assume responsibility for product support, parts and service for the fleet of some 170 waterbombers in service with 21 operations in 11 countries around the world. This follows Viking’s successful model of acquiring, supporting and sustaining utility aircraft programs, including manufacturing the world-renowned Twin Otter Series 400 aircraft. Viking will support the worldwide amphibious aircraft program from a newly acquired and specially repurposed 50,000 square foot facility in Calgary. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.” See more at
“This transaction supports our goal of rebuilding a clear path to profitable earnings growth and cash generation,” said Alain Bellemare, President and Chief Executive Officer, Bombardier Inc. “While the Amphibious Aircraft program is part of our long history, this divestiture positions Bombardier to better focus on our core, higher growth businesses; business jets, commercial aircraft and rail transportation.”
No amphibious aircraft have been produced since December 2015 after Bombardier paused the program. The decision to sell the Amphibious Aircraft program was made after careful deliberation and a rigorous analysis. Viking Air, a long-standing Bombardier collaborator, is the perfect successor to continue to build the value and reputation of the program while ensuring the sustainability of the fleet. Viking Air will provide the right customer support to operators who, given the aircraft’s unique firefighting capabilities, play an essential role in the protection of communities, environment, resources and wildlife.
Bombardier’s amphibious aircraft are emblematic of Canada and are the backbone of many firefighting operations around the world. The Bombardier 415 was launched in 1994 and drew on the success of the earlier CL-215 and CL-215T versions to establish itself as the only purposely built and best firefighting aircraft in the world. Close to 170 Bombardier amphibious aircraft are in service worldwide. See more at
Photo: Viking Air
The new Viking Seaplane Type 400S competes with the Dornier Seastar seaplane, so the Bombardier acquisition strengthens Viking Air’s seaplane production and development. According to surveys they are able to sell 50-60 firefighter seaplanes. The new name of seaplanes would be Viking CL415.