The Bombardier Q400-MR is a regular Q400 that is modified by Cascade Aerospace to be a multi-use aircraft as a passenger plane, cargo plane or air tanker for firefighting operations. Officially, Cascade Aerospace calls it the Q400-MR Airtanker, making "Air Tanker" one word. The Q400-MR can be built solely as an air tanker or for all three configurations. The Q400 that is solely built as an air tanker is called the Bombardier Q400 Airtanker. The MR in Q400-MR stands for multi role, which means the aircraft can switch between passenger, cargo and air tanker roles. Cascade says that the aircraft can switch between the three configurations in less than three hours. This makes the Bombardier Q400-MR very versatile. Cascade Aerospace markets the Q400-MR as being one of the best options for firefighting operations because of its versatility and the Q400's advanced avionics and performance. Also since the Bombardier Q400 has full motion flight simulators and training programs in place, it makes it easy for pilots to get full training for flying the Q400-MR Air Tanker.
The Configurations / Roles
In the passenger configuration, the airplane can carry 64 passengers. The Cargo configuration allows the Q400 MR to carry 19,900 pounds or 9 metric tones of cargo and can be configured as a combi aircraft with a mix of passengers and cargo. In the air tanker role it can deliver water, retardant or form to a fire. The tank can hold up to 2,642 US gallons, 2,200 imperial gallons or 10,000 liters.
The Q400-MR modifications are certified under a supplemental type certificate (STC) from Transport Canada. The base airplane, the Q400, is certified under its own type certificate. The STC is transferable to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the European Aviation Safety Agency.
Currently we have only seen France's Securite Civile using the Bombardier Q400-MR Airtanker.
Learn more about the Q400 by visiting the other pages here on the site.