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When my children grew up here in France they all wanted to grow up and be pilots in the Canadair firefighting planes. These planes scoop up water in their bellies and when over a forest fire they drop the water. The children all found this very exciting. We would see them flying on their way back and forth to fires all summer.

The Canadian amphibious aircrafts were designed and built specifically for aerial firefighting.

Today’s aircraft require 1,340 meters (4,400 ft) of flyable area to descend from 15 meters (49 ft) altitude, scoop 6,137 liters of water during a 12-second 410 meters (1,350 ft) long run on the water at 70 knots (130 km/h; 81 mph), then climb back to 15 m altitude. The aircraft can also pick up partial loads in smaller areas and can turn while scooping. (Information from Wikipedia)

Apparently, the planes that we saw in the 1980’s were the Canadair CL-415 SuperScoopers and the ones flying around today are the Bombardier 415’s. Or I could have this backwards.

This past week we met some friends in La Ciotat for lunch. After a nice meal and a perfect day, we watched three Canadair pilots practicing their craft on the bay.
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