Air Tanker Based On Bombardier Q400

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A Canadian company has developed an air tanker conversion for the popular Bombardier Q400 turboprop airliner. Cascade Aerospace, of Abbotsford, B.C., says the aircraft combines speed, payload and “loads of power” to make it a modern replacement for aging tankers. The aircraft will drop up to 2,600 gallons of retardant on a fire with a computer-controlled system that ensures an even drop pattern. Up front, the crew flies in air-conditioned comfort in front of a glass panel with all the modern bells and whistles. Cascade says the Pratt & Whitney Canada PW150A engines put out more than 5,000 hp and that gives the aircraft the power to maneuver in any terrain and to get to the fire in a hurry at 340 knots. It can also operate on unpaved airfields and has its own APU for self-sufficient operation in the field. When it’s not fighting fires, it can be quickly converted to a 64-seat passenger aircraft or a cargo plane with a payload of 19,900 pounds. Because the aircraft is in service worldwide, spares are easy to get and pilot training is available all over the world.