Canadair CL215 Waterbombers

Sat May 12, 2007 9:55 pm

For those of you who may be pilots, or like me just fascinated by aircraft.. lifelong addiction aided and abetted by forced :oops: :roll: :lol: :lol: examination of many volumes of Jane's All The World's Aircraft for years..

here is a pic of one of two birds that have been frequent visitors to the NBNR tanker base at the airport ramp about 1 klick up the road from my house.. We have a number of serious forest fires as of late.


Canadian Aviation - CL-215 (Canadair)

Some neat birds when seen closeup. Not sleek, but really reliable and carry a substantial payload..

FPL used to have a bunch of TBM Avenger Water Bombers.. boy those radials were something to hear.. and those birds were something to see... but they have replaced them with Air Tractor AT-802's. Although they are quite the bird as well, they just don't have the same feeling about them as the Avengers or even the A-20's...


TBM Avenger alongside an S-2 Tracker

Sun May 13, 2007 4:25 am

Nice pics, Rudi, and I'm with you on the sound of a radial. Ain't nothin' better!

Sun May 13, 2007 8:53 am

Way back when (late 60s) I worked on spring tree planting and fire crews for the US Forestry Service to make extra money for college. They had a couple of water tankers they used in our area, one was a converted DC3 that had to go to an airport to refill. It carried a load of water mixed with a fire retardant chemical for use on the fires. The other was a small high wing plane with pontoons that refilled at a local lake. It had a scoop under it and would take on water on the run as it crossed the lake. The sound of one of those things sure sounds great when you are on a hot fire line, but those drops of water sting when they hit you. The chemical would stain your clothes too.

Sun May 13, 2007 6:19 pm


Sounds like maybe a Gumman Goose modified as a Water Bomber?? or something similar. They used Catalinas or PBY's for years as well as Sunderland Flying Boats -- both WW2 amphibians. The Goose was a popular amphibian here in Canada, I remember seeing a number of them when I was younger in the 60's as well. The old Flying Boats intrigued me almost as much as the DHC-3 Beaver, the Otter and other Bush Planes that were pontoon equipped as well.

A-20's, DC-3's, DC-4 Dakota's, Vickers Vicounts and other aircraft have been used over the decades in Fire Control. The CL-Series are the first specifically designed Fire Suppression Aircraft, if I remember correctly and have/still are being used in countries around the world.

This one is kind of huge.. and a rare one for me.. I have only ever seen one pic of this particular aircraft model before and that was in Jane's

Martin Mars Water Bomber

This is one of the prettiest Water Bombers ever built..

Canadair CL-415 (Bombardier)

Photo credited to pictographer and to the link..
Last edited by Rudi on Mon May 14, 2007 11:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

Sun May 13, 2007 6:57 pm

Those are some beautiful planes, thanks :D

Sun May 13, 2007 7:13 pm

Gee Rudi, I didn't know you were an image thief. :lol:

My favorite airplane sound is a Rolls-Royce Merlin V12 in a low pass by a P-51 Mustang.

Sun May 13, 2007 7:13 pm

deputyjailer90 aka podge wrote:Those are some beautiful planes, thanks :D

I agree! One of the best looking in the air and the ugliest up close is the PBY Catalina. Another plane that is great looking in the air is but disappointing up close is the A-26. Maybe the reason is all the years of service they have contributed that haven't changed their graceful lines. Kinda like us old Cub guys. Image

Sun May 13, 2007 8:00 pm

The big red and white water bomber is none other than the Martin Mars! Built right here in Baltimore! They have a fantastic history. First made as heavy transports for the US Navy, they were obtained in the 60s and converted for water bombing. Only 2 are left of the 7 built. They were operated by Timber West on Sproat Lake and were recently acquired by the Coulson Group. I belong to the Glenn L. Martin Maryland Aviation Museum and we were in the bid to get one when they went up for sale. Check out !

Sun May 13, 2007 8:10 pm

Hey, Carm. Long time, no post. Hope everything has been OK.

Sun May 13, 2007 8:31 pm

Rudi, the pontoon plane was a small single engine unit. No lakes in this area big enough for the ones you pictured.

Sun May 13, 2007 8:41 pm

John *.?-!.* cub owner wrote:Rudi, the pontoon plane was a small single engine unit. No lakes in this area big enough for the ones you pictured.

De Havilland Beaver?

Sun May 13, 2007 9:45 pm

Rudi wrote:
This is one of the prettiest Water Bombers ever built..
<image removed>
Canadair CL-415 (Bombardier)


I never knew you were a THIEF!!! :roll: :lol: :wink: Just kiddin'.


Sun May 13, 2007 10:13 pm

George Willer wrote:
John *.?-!.* cub owner wrote:Rudi, the pontoon plane was a small single engine unit. No lakes in this area big enough for the ones you pictured.

De Havilland Beaver?
The name sounds familiar, but you have to remember that was 40 years ago and I was in my late teens, with no knowledge of planes.

Mon May 14, 2007 10:45 am


Did it look something like this?


Mon May 14, 2007 11:50 am


The DHC-3 Beaver was a very common aircraft in Northern Ontario as a kid growing up. I have even flown in a few over the years.. very interesting and tough bird. I have never seen a single pontoon variant though, always two pontoons... The Kingfisher was a single pontoon cruiser launched observation aircraft between the great wars.. the Japanese had single pontoon variants.. as well as the British and I guess any of the allied forces. I seem to recall one other.. but I cannot for the life of me remember what it is at the moment..

Be worth a look

and the guy with the pic of the 415.. needs to get a life....

You don't see me doing that for all the manuals that have been harvested from the server and sold.. all it was, was a link to his site and there was no do not link advisory on the site either.. time for a life methinks..