Canadian owned and operated aerospace companies Viking Air Ltd. and PAL Aerospace Canada have partnered to support wildland firefighters around the globe.
The partnership will build and support the Twin Otter Fire Attack System, a firefighting version of Viking’s popular Otter twin engine airplane.
“As an established DHC-6 Twin Otter operator, we know firsthand the capability and versatility of the aircraft and consider it a privilege to bring our comprehensive design, engineering and modification capabilities to bear in developing this new capability,” says Phillip Garbutt, PAL Aerospace senior vice president of global support.
The agreement’s scope includes the design, manufacturing, installation, and certification of the Aerial Firefighting System for the Twin Otter DHC-6 300 and 400 aircraft.
The companies say the Aerial Firefighting System is expected to be certified in 2022, with an international customer due to receive the first converted aircraft.
“We are happy to work with PAL Aerospace to provide our operators the ability to utilize our DHC-6 Twin Otter for specialized aerial firefighting missions,” says Benjamin Carson, director of customer support operations at Viking. “As the OEM, we work to continuously enhance the aircraft we support, providing our customers with ongoing fleet sustainment activities and upgrades.”
This partnership is a progressive effort between Viking and PAL Aerospace to build additional capabilities for the already versatile DHC-6 Twin Otter Series 300 and 400 aircraft. The Aerial Firefighting System will allow the Twin Otter to transition effortlessly between global firefighting missions and its more traditional mission profiles, including transporting passengers and cargo.
The airtanker-configured Twin Otter aircraft will fight wildfires by dropping up to 2,650 l (700 US gallons) of water or retardant in very challenging environments.