Aircraft With Unusual Purposes

Bombardier 415
"Superscooper" — Water Bomber

The Bombardier 415 is an amphibious Canadian water bomber — the only aircraft specifically designed for aerial firefighting.

Also known as the "Superscooper" in the U.S., the Bombardier 415 was launched in 1994, and there are now 76 aircraft in service with more than 18 operators in 10 countries. The plane can scoop 1,621 gallons of water in 12 seconds while skimming water at a high speed. The aircraft can also complete nine drops within an hour, delivering a total of 14,600 gallons of water to douse bush or forest fires. The Bombardier 415 has also been utilized for humanitarian relief, search and rescue, surveillance and transporting workers.

In December, the aircraft type reached the milestone of flying over 200,000 hours and dropping over 1.3 billion gallons of water since its entry into the market nearly two decades ago. While the individual unit price hasn’t been disclosed, Bombardier did announce in March 2011 that it sold four 415 aircraft to an undisclosed customer for a total cost of around $162 million.

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