AIRBUS MILITARY has begun flight testing of a prototype C295 after undertaking some basic fire-fighting modifications to the airframe. The aircraft made its first test flight in fire-fighting configuration on October 17 from the company’s facility at Seville-San Pablo Airport, Spain. Testing has been undertaken at a site near Cordoba, Spain, which specialises in fire-fighting.
Airbus Military has confirmed the company is undertaking development of a fire-fighting version of the aircraft, but this work is currently in its very early stages and is therefore being kept low-key and not presently being publicised. Details of the trial installation are not being revealed at present, but the company says that it is merely a very basic fit to test the concept.
Plans for a fire-fighting version of both the CN235 and C295 had first been revealed by Airbus Military some time ago. At the Farnborough Air Show on July 2010, the company stated that it believed there was a strong market for this type of aircraft and planned to go ahead with development.
The company says that initial flights went well and further tests are planned in the near future to make a more detailed analysis of the C295 as a firefighter aircraft. Alan Warnes