Demand grows for Canadian-made water bombers as De Havilland aims to build new ‘Super Scoopers’

By Chris Varcoe
The Edmonton Journal
August 23, 2023
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Wildfires continue to burn across Western Canada, other parts of North America and around the world this summer, increasing the need for planes that can attack the flames from the skies. For De Havilland Aircraft of Canada, interest in its new water bomber is increasing as the Calgary-based company prepares to launch its program to build an amphibious aircraft, the DHC-515 Firefighter, in Alberta. European countries, which signed a letter of intent last year to acquire 22 of the newly designed planes, bumped up their order by two because of more demand from France, while other jurisdictions have also made inquiries. “We do know that there’s a significant demand globally for the aircraft,” said company spokesman Neil Sweeney. At De Havilland, the new amphibious planes will be designed to refill their tanks in a dozen seconds by scooping up water from lakes, rivers and oceans, instead of landing at an airport after each fire-suppression trip.

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