Conair is a world leader in specialty aircraft operations, delivering a comprehensive range of purpose-engineered, aerial firefighting, multi-role aircraft and services worldwide. The Canadian company manufactures modified RJ85 and Q400MR aircraft for use in aerial firefighting and transporting people/cargo in support of emergency response operations.
The most recent customer for the multirole Q400MR is France’s Securite Civile, which last July announced it was buying six to replace its S-2F Tracker fleet. It was announced at last October’s Tangent Link Aerial Firefighting Europe conference, that the nine S-2Fs would be retired by 2022. The Ministry of Interior’s Securite Civile was looking for an aircraft that would reduce operating costs, be multirole and carry more retardant/water. The French agency already operates two Q400MRs, and so is clearly aware of the type’s capabilities.
Conair’s Business Development Director, Jeff Berry would not comment too much on the acquisition, but he did say that “the Q400MR is one aircraft all missions, governments that have a need to transport emergency rescue people, police, evacuate injured people from a disaster area, haul cargo and fight forest fires. So it gives a government the ability to within multiple agencies fund an aircraft that benefits them all, and cost the government less overall. Instead of individual aircraft being attributed to each agency. “
They are equipped with the 2,700 US Gallon Conair Advanced Retardant Delivery System constant Flowtank, which can be added to the aircraft or taken off the aircraft within hours.
“It is an extremely fuel efficient powerful fast aircraft, equipped with a Head Up Display (HUD), Forward Looking Infra-Red (FLIR) system and a state of the art cockpit. We have developed a
flight envelope advisory system so that when the aircraft is flying at low speeds provides the pilot information on the handling of the aircraft, so it is being operated safely. We carry out all
the engineering on the Q400 in conjunction with the OEM, Bombardier.”