DHC completes successful first flight of CL-415 with upgraded avionics suite

Avatar for Skies MagazineBy Skies Magazine | June 2, 2022

Estimated reading time 3 minutes, 11 seconds.

De Havilland Canada (DHC) on June 1 announced that the successful first flight of the Avionics Upgrade Program for CL-215T, CL-415, and CL-415 Enhanced Aerial Firefighter (EAF) aircraft took place on May 30 with a CL-415 in Abbotsford, British Columbia.

The avionics program is intended to upgrade the CL-415 and CL-215T aircraft with an operational enhancement solution that will keep those fleets effective for decades to come.

DHC became the airframe OEM for the CL fleet after acquiring the program from Canadair in 2016. As part of the Avionics Upgrade Program, Collins Aerospace will provide the avionics suite, and Cascade Aerospace will integrate the new avionics suite into the aircraft.

Pictured is the DHC-515 Firefighter, recently announced by De Havilland Canada, which will receive the new avionics suite. (There are not currently photos available of the CL-415 AUP first flight.) DHC Photo

The new avionics package integrates the Collins Aerospace Pro Line Fusion flight deck, which provides advanced situational awareness that enhances the safety, efficiency, and predictability necessary for any mission.

DHC said the avionics suite was designed and customized for aerial firefighting missions specifically. While it will be integrated into the CL firebomber fleet, it will also be installed in the recently launched DHC-515 Firefighter aircraft. Formerly known as the CL-515 program, the DHC-515 will build on the capabilities of the CL-215 and CL-415, according to DHC.

“We believe that the ability to operate with common flight decks across our family of aircraft is a significant benefit for our customers,” said Jean-Philippe Côté, vice president of programs at DHC. “Training and spare parts management will be improved for customers that choose to install the Collins Pro Line Fusion avionics suite across their entire fleet.”

Customers will benefit from being able to move crews seamlessly between aircraft as they will have a common cockpit experience.

Following the first flight milestone, DHC said it is hopeful to receive Transport Canada certification in the coming months, at which point installation of the new avionics suite will begin on the CL-215T, CL-415, and CL-415 EAF flight decks.

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