The Bombardier CL-215 is a amphibious aircraft dedicated mainly to fire fighting. It is part of a small number of aircraft designed and manufactured specifically for this purpose.
The CL-215 can pick up up to 6,137 liters of water on any surface of water large enough for the aircraft to make a take-off on it. The water is collected by means of two retractable probes mounted behind the reef of the keel, an operation that must be done while moving. while the plane is sailing on the surface of the water at about 60-70 knots. This allows the complete filling of the tanks in just 12 seconds.
After this maneuver, the stored water can be mixed with chemical agents that improve the extinguishing and retarding capacity of the discharge, which is carried out over the fire area without the need to return to base until sunset or refueling.
Depending on the proximity between the charging point and the fire, a CL-415 can carry out up to 100 downloads in a 4 and a half hour period.
The six aircraft operating in the Sierra Bermeja fire belong to the Group 43 of the Air Force, integrated in the Military Emergency Unit (UME). They are based in Torrejón de Ardoz (Madrid) and their motto is «Turn off and let’s go”.