De Havilland Canada Chooses Universal Avionics for Firefighting Aircraft Flight Decks

De Havilland Canada has selected Universal Avionics as the lead supplier of integrated flight decks for its line of firefighting aircraft.

Tucson-based Universal Avionics, an Elbit Systems subsidiary, said it will supply retrofit and forward-fit systems for the CL-215T, CL-415 and new DHC-515 Firefighter to include its NextGen flight display and flight management, data communications and connectivity systems.

De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Ltd. launched the DHC-515 program in March 2022, building on the foundation of the Canadair CL-215/415 twin-engine turboprops. In September 2022, the company announced the site of a new final assembly facility near Calgary, Canada, for the DHC-15 as well as the DHC-6 Twin Otter and Dash 8-400 regional airliner.

Announcing its selection of Universal Avionics for the DHC-515 on Oct. 20, De Havilland Canada said it also has acquired Mid-Canada Mod Center and Avionics Design Services, companies that have long worked on Universal Avionics installations, upgrades, and modifications.

Plans call for initial operations starting in 2025 at the new De Havilland Field, which will consist of an assembly facility, a runway, parts manufacturing, and MRO facilities. The operations there will complement the company’s parts manufacturing facilities in Victoria, Canada, and engineering and support center in Toronto.

Universal’s flight deck for the amphibious firefighting aircraft is based on its InSight flight-display system, featuring five LCD displays, dual touchscreen controllers, dual flight management systems, and “Kapture” voice and flight data recorders.

“Our success in retrofit and forward-fit solutions with De Havilland Canada demonstrates the versatility of Universal’s solution and its role as a leading avionics provider in the aerial firefighting market,” said Universal Avionics CEO Dror Yahav. “Mission-driven solutions for these popular firefighting aircraft help make aerial firefighting operations safer and more efficient.”