French Firebombers Photo Feature
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French Firebombers Pictorial

This is a collection of photos taken over the past year or so showing the aircraft used by the Securite Civile in France for fighting forest fires. The principle fire bombers used are the Canadair CL-215 and CL-415 amphibians, with the latter variant having PW123 turboprop engines instead of the original's R-2800 radial engines. A conversion of the Grumman S-2 Tracker known as the Firecat is also widely used, with a turboprop conversion called the Turbo Firecat gradually replacing it. The civil version of the C-130 Hercules, the L-100, can be equipped to deliver large volumes of fire retardant when required.

All the photos on this page are copyright Didier Soisson.

L-100 number 82 awaits the call L-100 number 82 streams red retardent
One CL-215 targets the fire zoneThe CL-215 water load is 6000 kg
As one CL-215 drops another gets readyA CL-215 drops a full load of water
A closer view of CL-215 number 26A CL-215 banks around for another run
CL-215 number 21 returns down a valley A CL-215 drops retardant on a forest fire
Turboprop engined CL-415 number 36 A closer view of CL-415 number 36
The CL-415 has distinctive wing endplates Firecat 'TS runs up its engines
A Firecat with radial engines A Turbo Firecat with turboprop engines

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First Created: 17 March 2001 - Last Revised: 1 April 2001
Copyright © 2001 John Hayles.     e-mail: