Paris, France, June 18th, 2019: Viking Air Limited of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, and Air Antilles, of Guadeloupe, French West Indies, have signed an agreement for the purchase of two Viking Twin Otter Series 400 aircraft, making Air Antilles the first commercial operator of the Series 400 in the Caribbean. Also forming part of the purchase agreement, Air Antilles will become the first Series 400 Twin Otter operator to receive European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) certification for steep approach operations.
The two Viking-built Series 400 Twin Otters are scheduled for delivery to Air Antilles in the last quarter of 2019 and will be configured as 19-passenger regional commuter landplanes to replace the two legacy de Havilland Series 300 aircraft currently in commercial service with the airline.
With delivery of the Series 400 aircraft, Air Antilles will become the first commercial operator to receive EASA certification for steep approach landings, providing the airline with procedures to operate at approach angles in excess of 4.5 degrees. This is essential for Air Antilles’ scheduled operations to Gustaf III airport in Saint Barthelemy in order to satisfy EASA’s requirements for all commercial aircraft that access the airport to have factory certification for steep approach landings due to the surrounding mountainous terrain.
Eric Kourry, chairman of Guyane Aero Invest, the holding company of Air Antilles, commented, “As an operator of legacy de Havilland Series 300 aircraft for more than a decade, our knowledge of the Twin Otter’s exceptional flight capabilities, ease of maintenance, high dispatch reliability and suitability for our operations made selection of the Viking Series 400 a natural choice for upgrading our fleet.
“As travel tourism in the Caribbean expands, improvements to safety are becoming increasingly important for airlines to retain a competitive advantage. The innumerous improvements made to the new Series 400 will help Air Antilles increase safety and bring added value to their flight operations,” said David Caporali, Viking regional sales director for the Americas. He added, “The Caribbean shows encouraging market opportunities for Series 400 Twin Otter due to its low operating costs, ability to access the many short runways throughout the region, and its ability to support growth of an inter-island commercial transportation network. We highly value Air Antilles’ initiative to be the launch customer for the Series 400 in the region and are confident this relationship will yield many good results for both parties.”
Paris, France, June 17th, 2019: Today at the 2019 Paris International Airshow, Viking Air Limited of Victoria, British Columbia has revealed its Guardian 400 special mission variant of the Series 400 Twin Otter at its first public event. This also marks the launch of the global demonstration tour announced by Viking in late May.
Featuring a pixelated camouflage paint scheme, the Guardian 400 demonstrator aircraft flew from Viking’s corporate headquarters in Western-Canada at the beginning of June to Airborne Technologies’ facilities in Wiener Neustadt, Austria for further modifications prior to the Paris Air Show.
Airborne Technologies, Viking’s principal partner for the tour, is missionizing the Guardian 400 demonstrator aircraft. It has designed and manufactured the wing-mounted SCAR pods that house the aircraft’s sensor equipment and its Airborne LINX® flexible surveillance architecture solution that integrates all sensors and communications systems on board the aircraft with an intuitive user interface.
The sensor equipment installed on the Guardian 400 demonstrator aircraft has been supplied by key tour sponsors, including Hensoldt, Leonardo, Sentient. Hensoldt has supplied the Argos EO/IR imaging turret with multi-spectral HDTV camera, mega-pixel HD Thermal imager, laser range finder, multi-mode auto tracker, and Remote Image Bus (RIB) video feed for display on the cockpit MFD and/or crew workstation.
An Osprey Radar system, supplied by Leonardo, is a low size weight and power (SWaP) active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar surveillance system that features 120-degree forward swath and true multi-mission capability for high performance maritime and land surveillance. The Osprey system also provides high-resolution ground mapping, small and low speed ground target indication, and air-to-air surveillance, tracking and intercept capability.
Sentient has supplied the Visual Detection and Ranging (ViDAR) Camera system complete with Kestrel moving target indication (MTI). The VidAR is a wide area optical search system consisting of high-resolution sensors coupled with onboard automation software capable of detecting small objects and dramatically extending aircraft coverage during Search & Rescue missions. The Kestrel MTI continuously detects moving objects while increasing the surveillance area by a factor of 20, thereby reducing operator fatigue and increasing reliable detection over long missions.
CarteNav Solutions, also a key contributor to the Guardian 400 demonstrator, is providing its AIMS mission system software that processes and manages imagery and data from the various sensors to enhance situational awareness and improve mission effectiveness with real time, geo-referenced local operating pictures.
The Guardian 400 prototype will also feature an Airborne Technologies’ tactical workstation with high-definition touchscreen monitors, data/voice/video recorder, Mission Management Unit (MMU), mission radio communications, intuitive hand controller for MCU & SLR camera targeting and IKHANA ergonomic operators mission seat for optimized crew comfort. The prototype will also be equipped with Viking conformal bubble windows, left and right NATO standard wing-mounted hard points by IKHANA, Thunder Bay Aviation stretcher racks, and an aft lavatory for crew comfort.
“We have been engaged in the special missions arena for many years, and have put together a team of partners, led by Airborne Technologies, with extensive experience integrating flexible architecture solutions that are customized to suit each customer’s specific mission requirements,” said Robert Mauracher, Viking executive vice president, Sales & Marketing.
AeroSimulators Group is providing simulation support for the Guardian 400 aircraft demonstration at the Paris International Airshow as well as providing additional simulation support during the world demonstration tour.
Immediately following the Paris International Airshow, the Guardian 400 demonstrator aircraft will return to Airborne’s facility in Austria and be made available for European prospects to view until mid-September when the aircraft embarks on the next leg of its world tour.
The Guardian 400 world demonstration tour encompasses detailed briefings and demonstration flights scheduled for Austria, Italy, Algeria, Spain, Portugal, Morocco, Ghana, Nigeria, Namibia, South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Kenya, Djibouti, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Philippines, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Russia, United States, and Canada. A tour extension to Central and South America is also under consideration to commence in the fall of 2020.
The Guardian 400 demonstrator aircraft will also be available for viewing in conjunction with the 2019 Dubai Airshow, 2020 Singapore Airshow, and the 2020 CANSEC Defence & Security Show in Ottawa, Canada.
Paris, France, June 17th, 2019: As the OEM for several legendary Canadian aircraft types, including the legacy de Havilland and Canadair aerial firefighter fleets, Viking Air Limited of Victoria, British Columbia is now endorsing the use of Sustainable Alternative Jet Fuel (SAJF) in its family of utility aircraft equipped with turbine engines.
Viking’s endorsement of SAJF is a progressive move towards long-term sustainability due to its lower environmental impact while providing the same performance characteristics as Jet A.
SAJF is a completely transparent synthetic replacement to conventional jet fuel that can be used in any turbine-powered aircraft and is produced from non-petroleum components such as cooking oil, plant oils, solid municipal waste, sugars, purpose-grown biomass and agricultural residues.
The Viking aircraft that will benefit from the use and availability of SAJF include the PT6-powered DHC-2T Turbo Beaver, DHC-3T Turbo Otter, DHC-6 Twin Otter and DHC-7 Dash 7. The PW123AF-powered Canadair CL-215T, CL-415, and next generation Viking CL-515 aerial firefighter multi-role amphibian will also benefit from the use of SAJF.
“We view SAJF as a positive move towards a greener, more sustainable way of operating our aircraft for generations to come,” commented Robert Mauracher, Viking’s executive vice president of Sales & Marketing. “With the demonstrated longevity inherent in our fleet of aircraft, it’s important to consider operational constraints that may arise in the future, including availability of fuel sources. Use of SAJF not only provides our operators with an alternative to Jet A that lowers environmental impact, it will also be available for the duration of the aircraft’s lifetime.”
“Pratt & Whitney is proud to supply Viking with engines that run on sustainable fuel and we support their efforts towards greener operations,” said Irene Makris, vice president, Sales & Marketing, Pratt & Whitney Canada. “We are committed to ensuring that our engines are designed, produced and operated to minimize their environmental impacts throughout their life cycle.”
Contract to deliver six new aircraft in 2024 is a key step towards full production program
PARIS, June 18, 2019 /CNW/ – Longview Aviation Capital (“Longview”) and its subsidiary Viking Air Limited, a global leader of utility aircraft, support and services and manufacturer of the world-renowned Twin Otter, today announced a seven aircraft sales contract for six new-production CL-515 aircraft and one CL-415EAF.
The CL-515 is a newly developed, technically advanced multi-mission aerial firefighting aircraft – the next generation of the CANADAIR CL-415, the aviation industry’s benchmark amphibious aircraft and the backbone of firefighting missions around the globe. With enhanced firefighting capabilities, and the flexibility to support a wide range of critical mission operations, the CL-515 will be a vitally important strategic asset to fleets around the world.
The Republic of Indonesia’s Ministry of Defense has agreed to purchase six all-new CL-515 aircraft, four of which will be delivered in “First Responder” multi-mission configuration, and two delivered in optimized aerial firefighter configuration. The purchase agreement also includes one CANADAIR CL-415EAF “Enhanced Aerial Firefighter” aircraft converted from a CANADAIR CL-215 to EAF standard by Longview Aviation Capital’s subsidiary, Longview Aviation Services.
The Republic of Indonesia’s purchase agreement is a firm commitment that is conditional only on Longview Aviation Capital’s Board of Directors approving the production launch program.
“We are thrilled to welcome the Republic of Indonesia as the first customer for this extraordinary aircraft,” said David Curtis, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Longview Aviation Capital. “This contract is a major milestone in bringing the next generation CANADAIR to market. The confidence of a sovereign government in our program is matched by our own confidence in our ability to deliver this new aircraft platform to the world. We are very well advanced in all aspects of program planning, including our supply chain, and we are nearing a final decision on manufacturing and final assembly sites. We expect to complete the remaining program milestones in the near future, and deliver the first new CL-515 on schedule in 2024.”
Program Development Process
Since acquiring the type certificates for the CANADAIR amphibious aircraft program from Bombardier in 2016, Longviewhas had positive discussions with numerous potential customers from around the world, including both governments and private operators, who have enthusiastically encouraged a production restart.
On the basis of the global interest in the unique and unrivalled capabilities of the CL-515, Longview and Viking have invested in a rigorous process ahead of full production launch decision:
Consulted extensively with current global operators to understand their future aerial firefighting resource requirements
Conducted extensive market research and feasibility studies and developed a new all-season multi-mission platform, leveraging advanced technology not previously included in the CL program
Consulted with key supplier partners
Undertaken advanced supply chain and manufacturing planning, including options associated with Longview’scurrent facilities and potential new facilities in Western Canada
Up to 15% better aerial firefighting productivity, including increased tank capacity and ability to refill in 14 seconds
State-of-the-art Collins Pro Line Fusion® digital avionics suite for unrivaled situational awareness
Flexible architecture to support multi-mission capabilities including aerial firefighting, maritime patrol, surveillance, medevac, environmental monitoring, insect control, oil spill detection and dispersant
Reduced maintenance and operating costs through improved, scalable avionics and superior design
Unmatched mission efficiency and flexibility, requiring no runway or reloading capacity during waterbombing firefighting
“Indonesia is on the front lines of increasing challenges like forest fires, and as an island nation has extensive needs for a range of amphibious capabilities,” said Air Chief Marshal Yuyu Sutisna, chief of staff for Indonesia’s Air Force. “We have chosen to invest in this aircraft based on the CANADAIR’s solid track record demonstrated around the world over the last 50 years, and Viking’s established capabilities as an aircraft developer and producer. The next generation CL-515 will have unmatched operational performance, particularly as a firefighter. This aircraft has the best productivity of any aerial firefighting aircraft, capable of delivering the highest quantity of foam retardant per day, while at the same time providing the flexibility to save lives and protect our coastal areas through its multi-role SAR and Maritime Surveillance functionalities. We are proud to sign the first contract for this extraordinary aircraft that will enhance our mission capability at excellent value.”
About the CL- 515 “First Responder” Multi-Role Amphibious Aircraft
Building on the pedigree of the CANADAIR CL-415, the CL-515 “First Responder” is the next generation of purpose-built aerial firefighter and multi-role amphibious aircraft. Through the incorporation of new technology and the integration of the state-of-the-art Collins Pro Line Fusion® digital avionics suite, the 515 provides operators with world class reliability, enhanced safety, and unrivaled situational awareness.
The significant global interest in the aircraft is underscored by the increasing worldwide frequency and severity of wildfires as a result of climate change. As truly amphibious aircraft, the CANADAIR CL-415 and the CL-515 are able to refill with water while flying, as well as mix retardant in flight. Requiring no runway to reload water, the aircraft is able to make more frequent waterbombing missions, particularly in remote or difficult to access areas.
The FAR/Part 25-certified Collins Pro Line Fusion® avionics suite is a scalable software-based system that addresses current regulatory requirements while anticipating future expansion. The core avionics configuration features Flight Director, Flight Management System (FMS) coupled with SBAS-GPS and LPV capability, Terrain Awareness Warning System (TAWS), ADS-B Out, Synthetic Vision, crew alerting system display indicators, and a multi-functional keyboard panel with dual cursor controls.
The new-production CL-515 offers exceptional aerial firefighting capabilities offering up to a 15% increase in productivity while reducing maintenance and operating costs. Its expanded tank capacity (7,000 L) and ability to refill in 14 seconds from water sources in close proximity to wildfires allows the CL-515 to drop enormous amounts of foam-injected fire retardant on a continuous basis.
As a true multi-mission platform, the CL-515 First Responder’s flexible architecture allows integration of mission equipment for a variety of roles in a single airframe, including aerial firefighting, maritime patrol, surveillance, medevac, environmental monitoring, insect control, oil spill detection and dispersant.
The CL-515 is the only aerial firefighter and multi-mission amphibious aircraft built and supported by an OEM with complete full factory warranty, established world-class product support network, and factory-endorsed Full Motion Level D Flight Simulator, making it the most technically advanced multi-mission aerial firefighting aircraft available on the market.
Added Mr. Curtis: “Our plans for the CL-515 build on our successful track record as an aircraft OEM. Our team conceived and developed the world-renowned Viking Series 400 Twin Otter, and to-date we have sold and delivered new aircraft to operators in 31 countries around the world. Longview and Viking have earned a reputation as the world leader in utility aircraft, and we have every confidence in our company’s ability to efficiently produce a multi-role aircraft that will set a new global standard for amphibious operations.”
In addition to Viking, Longview Aviation Capital includes De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Limited, OEM of the worldwide Dash 8 aircraft program including the 100, 200 and 300 series and the in-production Dash 8 Series 400 program manufactured in Ontario.
Ottawa, Ontario, May 29th, 2019: Today during the CANSEC Defence & Security show, Viking Air Limited of Victoria, British Columbia has announced its plans to hold a world demonstration tour for its Guardian 400 aircraft, the special missions variant of the Viking Series 400 Twin Otter. The world tour will include detailed briefings and demonstration flights in Europe, Africa, Middle East, India, South East Asia, Oceania, and North America.
For the past six months, a production Series 400 Twin Otter has been undergoing modifications to transform into Viking’s Guardian 400 demonstrator aircraft for the proposed world tour. It will feature a right-hand SCAR pod with Hensoldt Argos EO/IR imaging turret, multi-spectral HDTV camera, mega-pixel HD Thermal imager, laser range finder, multi-mode auto tracker, and Remote Image Bus (RIB) video feed for display on the cockpit MFD or crew workstation. The demonstrator will also feature a left-hand SCAR pod with Leonardo Osprey Radar System and Sentient Vidar Camera system.
In addition to its mission sensor package, the Guardian 400 prototype will be equipped with an Airborne Technologies’ tactical workstation with high-definition touchscreen monitors, data/voice/video recorder, Mission Management Unit (MMU), mission radio communications, intuitive hand controller for MCU & SLR camera targeting, CarteNav AIMS mission system software, Kestrel MTI targeting software, and IKHANA ergonomic mission seat for optimized crew comfort. The prototype will also be equipped with Viking conformal bubble windows, left and right wing-mounted hard points by IKHANA, Thunder Bay Aviation stretcher racks, and an aft lavatory for crew comfort.
With a target launch date of September 2019, the Guardian 400 world tour has briefing and demonstration flights proposed throughout Europe, North Africa, Central Africa, Southeastern Africa, the Middle East, Southern Asia, Asia Pacific, North America and will culminate in Ottawa, Canada to coincide with the 2020 CANSEC Defence & Security show.
“As we’ve anticipated development of a Guardian 400 technical demonstrator for many years, to now be able to show off its unique performance capabilities and incredible versatility to interested military and government organizations in their home countries is exciting to say the least,” said Robert Mauracher, Viking executive vice president, Sales & Marketing. “While the tour details are still under development, we encourage interested parties to contact us if they wish to participate in a flight demonstration.”
About the Guardian 400 Twin Otter:
Viking developed the Guardian 400 in response to foreign military and government agency demand for a medium-range maritime patrol, SAR and critical infrastructure platform based on the new Twin Otter Series 400 aircraft. Designed as an economical force multiplier for 21st century surveillance and security requirements, the Guardian 400’s low acquisition and operating costs combined with its modern, flexible architecture allows it to be customized to suit operators’ financial and mission requirements.
The Guardian 400’s robust design, minimal maintenance requirements, and exceptional short-field performance capabilities make it ideally suited for specialized government operations in extreme environments. Certified under the restricted category, the Guardian 400’s increased take-off weight and extended range internal Patrol Tank allow for operational sorties over 10 hours in duration.
Trusted by the governments of Peru, Panama, the United States, United Arab Emirates, and Vietnam, over thirty Twin Otter Guardian 400 aircraft have now entered service in various roles, including maritime surveillance, search & rescue, parachute operations, pipeline monitoring, drug enforcement, medevac, and critical infrastructure support.
Production to Continue Uninterrupted at Downsview Facility Includes Trademark to Iconic de Havilland Brand
VICTORIA, Nov. 8, 2018 /CNW/ – Longview Aviation Capital Corp., parent company to Viking Air Limited, a leading Canadian aircraft manufacturer, today agreed to acquire, through an affiliate, the entire Dash 8 program including the 100, 200 and 300 series and the in-production Q400 program from Bombardier Inc. Also included as part of the transaction are rights to the de Havilland name and trademark in an all-Canadian transaction.
Once completed, Longview will become North America’s largest commercial turbo-prop aircraft manufacturer.
“The Dash 8 turbo-prop is the perfect complement to our existing portfolio of specialized aircraft including the Twin Otter and the Canadair CL 215 and 415 series of water bombers,” said David Curtis, CEO of Longview Aviation Capital Corp. “We see enormous value in the de Havilland Dash 8 program, with these aircraft in demand and in use all around the world.”
As part of the agreement, Longview will receive all assets and intellectual property and Type Certificates associated with the Dash 8 program. Upon the closing of the transaction, Longview will also assume responsibility for the worldwide product support business – covering more than 1,000 aircraft either currently in service or slated for production.
Longview will continue to independently operate the program at the original de Havilland manufacturing site located at Downsview, Ontario upon closing of the transaction. The Downsview site was sold by Bombardier earlier this year but, under the terms of a lease with the new owners and a license from Bombardier, production will remain on-site until at least 2021. As part of the transaction Longview also looks forward to welcoming Bombardier employees currently associated with the production, support and sales of the Dash 8 program.
“We are committed to a business-as-usual approach that will see no interruption to the production, delivery and support of these outstanding aircraft,” added Curtis. “With the entire de Havilland product line reunited under the same banner for the first time in decades, we look forward to working with customers, suppliers and employees upon close of the transaction to determine what opportunities lie ahead.”
Longview and Bombardier will work closely in the period until the closing of the transaction to ensure a seamless transition for employees, customers, suppliers and other stakeholders with no interruption in production, delivery and support of the aircraft.
This transaction builds on Longview’s established track record of acquiring and successfully operating significant aircraft manufacturing, parts and serving programs including the Twin Otter program and the Canadair CL 215 and 415 waterbomber series.
The transaction is subject to typical closing conditions and the receipt of regulatory approvals. The sale and transaction are expected to close by the second half of 2019.
8 November 2018, MONTREAL (Reuters) – Bombardier Inc (BBDb.TO) is set to announce the sale of its Q400 turboprop aircraft program to Canadian aircraft manufacturer Viking Air, a person familiar with the matter said late on Wednesday.
The sale is expected to be announced with Bombardier’s earnings on Thursday, the person said, asking not to be identified because of the sensitivity of the matter.
Bombardier and Viking could not immediately be reached for comment.
The sale was reported earlier by specialist aviation publication The Air Current.
It comes months after Bombardier completed the disposal of its loss-making CSeries jet program to Europe’s Airbus (AIR.PA), which renamed the aircraft A220.