Canadair water bomber from Southern France. Photo Credit: Wikipedia Commons License.
18 Sep 2023

Europe to invest in dozens of new water bombers - EU order may spark redesign of new Canadair "super scooper" design


After yet another difficult fire season in Europe, the European Union has said it will invest in up to 12 new firefighting planes, the news site EuroNews reported on September 17. 

The Canadair belongs to a unique and small family of dedicated aerial firefighting aircraft, According to their article, the EU Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarcic, expects individual member states to order 12 more planes separately.

Lenarcic has allegedly revealed that manufacturer De Havilland Canada has agreed to re-launch production of the iconic "Canadair" aircraft if the EU orders are placed.

The Canadair is often referred to as a "super scooper" since it does not have to return to a base to refill its water tanks. Instead, the aircrafts are designed to be able to skim along the surface of a water source, refilling their tanks through inlets before taking off again.


1400 gallons of water loaded in 12 seconds 

The large tanker plane can house up to 5,455 litres  / 1400 US gallons of water and it can load it in just 12 seconds.  The aircraft can refill without returning to base makes it particularly useful when used  on fires in remote areas.

The plane went out of production in 2015 and De Havilland Canada now has to design and build a new generation of Canadair, the DHC-515.

The purchase price for a Canadair water bombers start at around €30 million per plane. New design and production costs may possibly also push the price tag higher than €720 million for 24 new aircraft, according to EuroNews. 


Cover photo: Above:
Canadair water bomber from Southern France. Photo Credit: Wikipedia Commons License.