BOMBARDIER HAS launched a 180-day, 21-country sales tour with the Canadair CL-415 amphibian. The Quebec Government-owned aircraft was despatched on 23 October from the Rome Ciampino Airport base of Alitalia subsidiary SISAM, which operates four CL-415 waterbombers, and which will assist with operations and maintenance during the tour.
The tour began with a firefighting demonstration in Turkey and firefighting and maritime demonstrations in Greece. Thereafter, the aircraft is scheduled to visit countries including Lebanon, Syria, Cyprus, Israel, the United Arab Emirates, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia, Singapore, the Philippines, Taiwan and Japan, returning to Quebec in April 1996.
The Israeli visit comes as the authorities begin evaluating the purchase of firefighting aircraft to combat the huge forest fires which each summer cause enormous damage. During a forest fire near Jerusalem earlier this summer, firefighters were forced to seek assistance from specially equipped Israeli air force Sikorsky CH-53 helicopters and crop-spraying aircraft, but the effect was limited.
An Antonov An-32F firefighting aircraft is also due to be flown to Israel in the next few weeks.
Source: Flight International