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Viking Air Limited of Victoria, B.C., has launched an Avionics Upgrade Program (AUP) for the Canadair CL-215T and CL-415 fleet of aerial firefighting aircraft. The program will incorporate modernized technologies in communications, navigation, surveillance, and air traffic management functionality in an integrated platform featuring the Collins Aerospace Pro Line Fusion avionics suite.
To face challenges with supportability and end-of-life components inherent with aging technology, the AUP will utilize modern and reliable commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) systems that will easily interface with specialized mission equipment. The system is designed as a complete integrated solution for a harmonized cockpit that will not only meet current regulatory requirements, it will also address future operational and technical requirements over a more than 25-year horizon.
The standardized cockpit will feature an ergonomic flight deck with three large LCD displays and low instrument footprint for enhanced flight data visualization that will help reduce pilot workload and provide focused information in a streamlined, simplified cockpit design.
A key component of the AUP is the introduction of the Collins Pro Line Fusion digital avionics suite, a FAR/Part 25 certified scalable software-based system. The avionics suite’s core 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 providing an alternative to touch screen commands.
A SATCOM system, Latitude Technologies Ionode System, Weather Radar, and Auto-Pilot are few of the available options to further enhance and customize the avionics system based on operator requirements.
Dan Seroussi, Viking’s Customer Service and Product Support Program director, stated: “The Canadair aerial firefighters are at the heart of Viking’s development strategy. These aircraft have incredible operational capabilities, and their versatility will allow them to accomplish a variety of missions in the future.
“We’re confident that not only will the Collins Pro Line Fusion Avionics suite help address the obsolescence issues and new regulatory requirements currently facing operators of CL-215T and CL-415 aircraft, it will also extend operators’ fleet longevity for many years to come.”
Gregory Davis, Viking’s vice-president, Customer Service and Product Support, added: “The Pro Line Fusion’s advanced technology will be the backbone for the evolution and support of these incredible aircraft for the next 25-plus years, and I am excited to see this integrated avionics suite equipping current CL fleets as well as the new Viking CL-415EAF Enhanced Aerial Firefighter. This system will also form the basis for any new production aircraft, allowing for seamless interoperability and maintainability between new and legacy aircraft.”
The AUP will initially be offered as an upgrade to operators of CL-215T or CL-415 aircraft who can select either a complete modification including the supply and installation of the avionics suite, or as a parts kit for installation by an approved maintenance repair organization.