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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
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Modified Dash 8 Q300 Maritime Surveillance aircraft
Article Type: News and views From: Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology: An International Journal, Volume 81, Issue 6
In a formal ceremony held at its Toronto Pearson airport facilities, Field Aviation recently delivered a highly modified Dash 8 Q300 Maritime Surveillance aircraft to the Icelandic Coast Guard. The event, which attracted more than 150 invited guests, included Iceland's Ambassador to Canada, Her Excellency Ms Sigridur Anna Thordardottir and Georg Larusson, Director General of the Icelandic Coast Guard.
The event was also attended by Mr K.C. Maple, a Canadian who, in an attempt to sail the North Atlantic to Norway from Canada in 2004, encountered a violent storm-off the coast of Iceland and in 16 ft seas was rescued by an Icelandic Coast Guard Super Puma helicopter. Mr Maple was reunited with Lieutenant Commander Audunn Krsitinsson who pulled him to safety during that heroic rescue mission.
Field Aviation, the prime contractor and integrator on the Icelandic Coast Guard project valued at more than $30 million, partnered with Bombardier Aerospace, which supplied the basic Dash 8 Q300 aircraft, and L-3 Communications, which supplied the sensor systems.
The Icelandic Dash 8 Q300 is equipped with long range fuel and an auxiliary power unit, enabling it to perform missions of over 8 h endurance. Field Aviation outfitted the aircraft with Maritime Search Radar, Side Looking Airborne Radar and an Electro-Optical/Infra-Red pod. All sensors feed into an integrated data handling system supplied by L-3 Communications.
Field integrated the surveillance systems into the aircraft and designed, built and installed a new cabin interior. Field also designed and had approved an in-flight operable door, which allows crews to deploy location flares, paradrop personnel, oil sampling buoys and larger items such as inflatable rafts.
The Icelandic Dash 8 Q300 MSA has multi-mission capability, including search and rescue, maritime sovereignty, medevac and first response activities. Its speed and endurance will produce shorter transit times and more on-station capability in replacing the Icelandic Coast Guard's current maritime aircraft. This will allow the Coast Guard to increase both environmental and fisheries surveillance, as well as to perform customs duties and border protection. The large cabin interior, coupled with the QSOO's proprietary active noise and vibration system will provide a comfortable, state-of-the-art working environment for the crews on board.
The Icelandic Coast Guard MSA has a configuration based on the Field Aviation modified Dash 8 Q300 MSA's for the Swedish Coast Guard, which were delivered in 2008. The similarity of type and equipment will provide operational, maintenance, training and support synergies for both countries (Figure 1).