Aviation

Bombardier completes waterbomber sale to Viking

Bombardier’s amphibious aircraft business includes the manufacture of the Bombardier 415, nicknamed the “waterbomber,” which is used to douse wildfires.
Bombardier’s amphibious aircraft business includes the manufacture of the Bombardier 415, nicknamed the “waterbomber,” which is used to douse wildfires. Courtesy photo

The Canadian parent of Wichita’s Learjet has closed on the sale of its amphibious aircraft unit to Viking Air Ltd.

Bombardier said in a news release Monday the sales agreement includes type certificates for all variants of the aircraft, the CL-215, the CL-215T and the Bombardier 415 aircraft as well as after-market services. The waterbomber aircraft are primarily used for fighting wildfires.

“This divestiture positions Bombardier to better focus on core, higher growth sectors: business jets, commercial aircraft and rail transportation,” Bombardier said in the release.

Viking Air is a British Columbia-based manufacturer of the Twin Otter 400, a twin-engine turboprop. Lee Aerospace in northeast Wichita manufactures part of the Otter’s fuselage.

Viking said when the deal was announced in June that the deal meant it would support the current fleet of Bombardier amphibious aircraft, which totals 170 waterbombers in service with 21 operations in 11 countries.

It did not plan to restart production of the aircraft, but estimated it would add up to 40 employees to support the aircraft from a 50,000-square-foot building in Calgary, Alberta.

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