NRC facilities renewal – Convair aircraft replacement

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If you're interested in more information about the MAPLE project, contact the MAPLE development team at


The Medium-long Range Aircraft Platform for Environmental Research, also known as MAPLE, is slated to replace the National Research Council of Canada's aging Convair 580 research aircraft, which has served in atmospheric and defence research for nearly 50 years. MAPLE will provide a significant benefit to the Canadian research community, functioning as the primary airborne platform to support a broad range of interdisciplinary observations and research in Earth system sciences crucial to Canadians. These encompass climate change, air quality, aerosols, clouds, precipitation, sustainable aviation, severe weather studies, satellite Earth observation, remote sensing and various Earth science disciplines, including hydrosphere, biosphere and cryosphere studies.


The MAPLE development project will establish an airborne research facility that addresses Canada's current and future needs for fostering a climate-resilient economy. The aim of the project is to advance scientific knowledge in the field of Earth system sciences and to develop innovative environmentally sustainable technologies for adapting to climate change. MAPLE will incorporate cutting-edge scientific instruments and adaptable infrastructures that employ the latest technologies, foster significant advancements in science and technology and yield high-quality research outcomes of global significance.


MAPLE will provide a highly adaptable national airborne platform tailored to support a variety of airborne scientific research and observational missions across Canada, from coast to coast to coast, including in the Arctic. This platform will cater to emerging science priorities in Earth system sciences and serve Government of Canada departments, academia and industry conducting environmental research. The airborne facility will benefit Canadians by providing essential resources and capabilities crucial for advancing environmental research initiatives across different sectors.


  • Versatile research platform: An adaptable framework can be easily customized for an array of airborne scientific research and observation missions.
  • Industry-leading features: Payloads are equipped with more than 40 in situ and remote-sensing scientific instruments.
  • Global coverage: MAPLE exhibits endurance suitable for conducting observations across extensive types of Canadian landmasses, oceans and other bodies of water, including in the Arctic region, and for fostering collaboration with international groups carrying out airborne research.

Collaborate with us

If you're interested in participating in or contributing to this project or would like more information on the technical aspects of the aircraft project, email the MAPLE development team at