Canada’s dedicated search and rescue (SAR) crews regularly put their lives on the line, relying on aircraft to overcome the significant challenges presented by dangerous weather and terrain. The requirements for Canadian SAR aircraft have been well-documented – from demanding mountain contour search, Arctic and North Atlantic storms, to extreme temperatures, icing and precipitation. Airbus’ C295, which has been selected for the country’s Fixed-Wing Search and Rescue Program, is perfectly suited to these duties.
Canada’s no. 1 C295 is proceeding through its final assembly process, and once all assembly phases are finished – including painting and tests – the milestone aircraft will be inspected by authorities from the Spanish Ministry of Defence (DGAM), with its delivery scheduled for the end of 2019. The roll out is carried out when all the functional tests have been successfully passed and then the aircraft leaves the final assembly line to be parked into the flight line. Traditionally the roll out has been considered an important milestone in the development and delivery of a new aircraft and it’s the reliable proof of the aircraft readiness and design maturity.
The C295 variant that Canada is receiving is the latest version, equipped with winglets that make it capable of transporting more payload over larger distances, resulting in fuel savings as well as increased safety margins in mountainous regions.Numerous enhancements are being introduced in the Canadian C295s, responding to the country’s specific search and rescue mission requirements. With the aircraft routinely operating in the harsh conditions of the North Atlantic, the C295s for Canada includes several improvement to guarantee crew safety, such as an advance avionics package compliant with the most demanding navigation regulations, reinforcements in the fuselage that improve ditching operations and a hatch to allow a rapid aircraft evacuation in case of a forced landing in the ocean.
Additionally, elements have been incorporated for aerodynamic drag reduction to improve time-on-station for the aircraft and increase the top speed during search and rescue missions. The C295 cabin interior is tailored to the Canadian Air Force’s operational, with such as a new wireless intercom system for crew communications, the increase of spaces for storing SAR equipment, additional lighting for medical evacuation duties and lighting compatible with the use of night vision systems.