Toronto, ON | May. 21, 2010
Following Field Aviation's 2009 delivery of a highly-modified Dash 8 Q300 Maritime Surveillance Aircraft (MSA) to the Icelandic Coast Guard (ICG), the aircraft has been in operation capturing valuable data and images of the Icelandic volcano that recently erupted, disrupting flights across much of Europe. Although performing outside its regular Maritime Surveillance flight duties, the aircraft was successfully pressed into emergency service as a 'volcano watch' platform.
The Eyjafjallajökull volcano erupted at 8.30 am on April 14, 2010, and the first images of the sub-glacial crater were captured by special radar equipment on the MSA. It is the only Icelandic aircraft with the necessary equipment needed to position accurately the eruption site in zero-visibility conditions.
Since the eruption, geophysicists, volcanologists and other scientists have used the aircraft to gather new information about volcanic activity.
Icelandic Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management geophysicist Magnus Tumi Gudmundsson said, "Using the MSA and its technology has provided a totally new perspective on volcanic eruptions in Iceland. The radar instruments aboard the aircraft are quite miraculous; they can actually see through the volcanic plumes, making it possible to photograph the development and exact location of the crater.
"The use of the MSA has been vitally important in gathering information about this volcano, information which will be used to understand the activity of other volcanoes that erupt frequently in Iceland."
The Dash 8 Q300 was also equipped with long-range fuel capabilities and an auxiliary power unit, enabling it to perform missions lasting more than eight hours. Modifications included a Maritime Search Radar, Side-Looking Airborne Radar (SLAR) and an Electro-Optical/ Infra-Red pod (FLIR); all of which are connected and controlled with an L-3 Communications integrated data handling system.
Field Aviation also undertook a series of structural modifications to the Dash 8, which included designing, engineering and integrating a new interior, and installing the Q300's proprietary Active Noise and Vibration System. The company has also designed and approved a flight-operable rear cargo door used to deploy location flares, paradrop personnel, oil sampling buoys, and inflatable rafts.
Field Aviation's Joar Gronlund said, "It is satisfying to know the aircraft we delivered to Icelandic Coast Guard has proven so successful in its chosen missions. Each MSA/ MPA we deliver requires unique, customized modifications and I am pleased that our work on this aircraft has continued our tradition of success." Field Aviation has modified more than 30 aircraft for maritime and surveillance roles, and its work has become renowned the world over for technical superiority.
Field Aviation is internationally recognized for its uniquely engineered products and services, and the modification and conversion of aircraft for special application purposes. These capabilities have made Field a world leader in the adaptation of commercial aircraft for special mission use - ranging from flight inspection to electronic surveillance to maritime patrol. Maritime Surveillance Aircraft that Field Aviation has modified are today flying with customers throughout the world.
The company also designs, engineers and integrates VIP and corporate shuttle interior completions for 'Regional Class' aircraft, manufactures airframe parts and accessories for current production commercial aircraft including the Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 and the new-build Viking Twin Otter Series 400, and continues to support numerous out-of-production aircraft with low volume parts, assemblies and components.
Field Aviation Contact: Chris Cooper-Slipper +1 905 676 1540 or firstname.lastname@example.org