Coulson adds new tankers to their fleet

First of all - Congratulations to the Coulson team for their new CH-47D “Chinook”!

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Coulson Aviation is expanding its rotary-wing capabilities and has entered into a joint venture with Unical Aviation to bring what they claim will be the most advanced firefighting Chinook and Black Hawk helicopters to the market. Unical, based in Industry, California, currently owns a fleet of 12 Boeing CH-47 Chinooks and more than 30 Sikorsky UH-60A Black Hawks — with plans to purchase additional UH60s as they become available. The company has also purchased numerous Black Hawk part inventories as well as the entire Canadian Forces CH-47D Chinook parts inventory. Unical will provide the aircraft, parts and heavy maintenance in the joint venture, and Coulson Aviation will take on the modifications planned to significantly upgrade the aircraft for firefighting and utility operations.

“Unical was looking for a company in our field, in firefighting, that had the same level of commitment and dedication to excellence that they have in their aviation supply chain, MRO, and CRO business,” said Britt Coulson, Coulson Aviation’s vice president.

The Black Hawk and Chinook modifications follow Coulson Aviation’s recently-completed, large-scale project to modify Boeing 737s into multi-use air tankers; Coulson Aviation is the first in the world to modify the 737 into what it is calling the Fireliner. The company, headquartered in British Columbia, has acquired 737s from Southwest Airlines and also operates a Sikorsky S-76B, a fleet of S-61 helicopters, Lockheed C-130 Hercules, and Bombardier Challengers. “I’ve got our design team here that just did the biggest mod ever done to a 737,” Britt Coulson said, “so we thought with [Unical’s] huge fleet of 47s and Black Hawks, it’d be a great opportunity to take a look at this project and work together to create the best helitankers in the industry.

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