Quiet ceremony marks first delivery of RCAF CC-295

Avatar for Skies MagazineBy Skies Magazine | December 20, 2019

Estimated reading time 2 minutes, 50 seconds.

The Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) took delivery of its first Airbus CC-295 fixed-wing search and rescue (FWSAR) aircraft on Dec. 18.

Airbus unveiled the iconic RCAF yellow search and rescue livery on the C-295 in October. Airbus Photo

The delivery itself seems to have been a low-key event without much fanfare. An Airbus spokesperson told Skies on Dec. 20 that the OEM had no plans to publish an official press release about the delivery. However, he referenced a brief tweet on the Airbus Defence & Space Twitter account, which was posted on Dec. 20, two days after the delivery reportedly occurred.

Airbus Photo
The RCAF’s fixed-wing search and rescue contract was awarded in December 2016 and includes 16 CC-295 aircraft. Airbus Photo

In November, Skies reported that complications with the CC-295’s technical manuals could delay the first delivery. Airbus unveiled the aircraft in RCAF livery in mid-October.

Members of RCAF 434 Operational Test and Evaluation Squadron have been at Airbus’s International Training Centre in Seville, Spain, since early fall to assess the aircraft. Airbus said on its website that the RCAF will “initiate more testing, training and Initial Operational Test & Evaluation operations in Spain, which will be followed by the ferry flight home” to Comox, B.C., in mid-2020.

In July, the RCAF asked the public to help choose the name of the new search and rescue aircraft. Airbus Photo

In July, the RCAF asked the public to help choose the name of the new search and rescue aircraft, offering five choices: Canso II, Guardian, Iris, Kingfisher and Turnstone. RCAF Commander LGen Al Meinzinger will make the final decision, but no announcement has been made to date.

The Canadian FWSAR contract, awarded in December 2016, includes 16 CC-295 aircraft and all in-service support elements including training and engineering services, the construction of a new training centre in Comox, and maintenance and support services.

The aircraft will be based where search and rescue squadrons are currently located: Comox; Winnipeg, Man.; Trenton, Ont.; and Greenwood, N.S.

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  1. She is pretty…surprised to see the delivery since there were tech manual questions ..
    Welcome Home …now the name ???..

  2. I like Guardian. It is not a sea plane so no to Canso II. While it is a S&R plane it is not a reconnaissance plane so no to Iris. A Kingfisher is a diving bird and again this is not a sea plane so no to Kingfisher. I don’t know what a Turnstone is so no to that one. That leaves Guardian, a plane that is meant to protect lives?

  3. Canso II would honour the service of the WWII era Canso Amphibious patrol and rescue Aircraft and their crews. There is still one left, in Edmonton I believe.

  4. The original Canso was actually an amphibian rather than a seaplane.

    While neither were used by the RCAF, there have been at least two aircraft named Guardian. The Grumman AF-2S and AF-2W were both variants of Guardian that served as a “hunter-killer” team in the U.S. Navy for ASW until replaced by the Grumman S2F Tracker. The U.S. Coast Guard also had the HU-25 Guardian, a modified version of the Falcon bizjet. In Canadian service, they were the CC-117 Falcon.

    I’d prefer a name with some Canadian significance rather than something generic like Guardian. How about Chimo? That was going to be the name for the EH101 version for SAR with the ASW version named Petrel. Then the contract was cancelled, the EH101 was bought again, but only for SAR as the CH-149 Cormorant and (eventually), the CH-148 Cyclone was bought for ASW.

  5. guardian will translate to french simply- “guardien” Seems like the procurement of the name is much like procurement in general- create a short list of “ contenders” with only one obvious choice.

  6. As a replacement for the Buffalo it would make sense to name it the Bison. Maybe if someone suggests this idea to LGen. Al Meinzinger, he might consider it. It’s Canadian and it’s not taken from a Navy seaplane (Canso, Kingfisher etc.)

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