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Converted 747 now largest fire-fighting tanker plane

It can deliver nearly 20,000 gallons of water or fire retardant per flight, almost twice the capacity of the next-biggest tanker. Bigger is always better... ( More...

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canuck44 21
They could use her at Fort McMurray, Alberta.
WhiteKnight77 3
I was up at Ft. McMurray 5 years ago when there were fires north of Ft. Mackay and the Syncrude and Suncor tar sands oil fields. Many evacuees of those fires were in Ft. McMurray at that time. Smoke was heavy in the air more often than not and there were times the sun was almost blocked out. They sure could use this tanker's help as at last estimate, there were over 210,000 acres on fire.
This morning reports are talking of 1500 square km, with double that a distinct possibility over the weekend. That would mean 740 000 acres! Most of it will be out in uninhabited forest areas, but still, that's huge!
canuck44 1
But it is shutting down the oil sands, almost 1.2M barrels per day, half of Western Canada's output. The companies do not expect to be back on line until June. The price of oil is going up with this loss.

The winds keep shifting and new tentacles reach out frustrating efforts to shut it down. The CL415's are flying but the post about the 747, while a nice thought would have to utilize runways in Edmonton or CFB Cold Lake. The scoopers might actually be more efficient but tough on aircrew flying continuously.
I guess it's hard on the people and the equipment. Two days ago there were 22 scoopers at work, more on the way. 4 from Quebec were stationed at Lac LaBiche.
Peter Blouin 3
Agreed. They need it NOW!!
Instead of doing flybys maybe they should send it up to Canada to do what it's meant to do...
Mark Lansdell 2
The didn't buy it to give it away, Burnie. Someone in Canada has to rent it.
matt jensen 6
If you want to help - contact the
Bigger is always better? I would not think so! A Bombardier CL415 uses a much shorter runway, meaning a larger choice of airport where to operate from, in the vicinity of a major fire and it can refill itself on a nearby lake.
joel wiley 4
There are times that bigger IS better. Better to have a variety of of wrench sizes than a single crescent wrench (adjustable spanner).
Highflyer1950 3
yes, but you need 12 CL415's to do the job of one B744! 200,000 lbs of water or retardant is pretty awesome. Cl is a great plane but it's like trying to put down a campfire with a thimble.
You are right of course, but on the other hand CL415s have an amazingly short turnaround in most areas of Canada due to proximity of lakes and rivers. How long does a turnaround take on a B744 loaded with 200,000 lbs of water? The best is to have the right mix of tools, and a B744 can be of great help in some situations.
Highflyer1950 2
Yep, I get that. Closest would be YEG, but there is an advertised turnaround of under 45 min and I'm guessing the flight time is about 35 min each way giving around 2:00 for each water/retardant dump. I imagine two 415's could do maybe 4 dumps per hour or about 14000 gallons. A combination of the two could do some serious firefighting
Yes, the right tool for the job is important. Right now there must be close to 30 scoopers on the job. They can go in low and close, doing some precision dumping. I see it like close ground support versus carpet bombing, but without laser guided bombs.
ear dropper
John Yount 4
For the 747 to survive finacially it will have to eventually be awarded a guaranteed contract for service, refered to as exclusive use. For Gobal Supertankers to sit home in Colorado and wait for the phone to ring, won't happen, the fire service doesn't work that way. Location, marketing, and public awarness prompts the use of a new aerial fire resource. As for cost, currrently on exclusive use contracts, two CL 415s, each aircrafts daily standby about $45,000 and about $13,000 per flight hour on a 90 day contract, with extension if fire weather warrants. Scoopers are water/foam direct attack air tankers, fixed base tankers like the 747 deliver retardant in front of a fire to form a barrier of wetness. apples and oranges, both taste good. Capacity of the 747 is 19600 U.S. gallons.
Mike Harbour 2
If the DC-10-based tanker folks can figure it out, I'm sure the 747 group can, too.
stardog01 2
Next time I'm at a baking-hot airshow it would be nice for that plane to do a flyover and dump water to cool off the spectators.
craig mccleaf 2
Great shot‼
matt jensen 2
Two pilots are in hospital after crash-landing an air tanker Thursday near Manning, Alta. No passengers were on board when the plane slid off the runway at Manning Municipal Airport. Neither pilot is in serious condition, according to Eleanor Miclette, the acting chief administrative officer for the County of Northern Lights. Miclette said the air crew lost control of the plane's steering and crash-landed at the end of the runway around 4 p.m. The aircraft, a Convair 580, leaked fuel following the crash but there was no fire. The pilots, who haven't been identified, made the emergency landing after fighting fires near Manning. The airport is part of a government-run forestry base, though Miclette couldn't confirm whether the plane is privately or government-owned. "We're just glad that both pilots came out of this alive, and that no serious injury was caused," she said. The cause of the crash is still under investigation, so the airplane hasn't been moved. Manning is almost 600 kilometres northwest of Edmonton.
joel wiley 1
This was reported on the airtankers Yahoo group with:
"Conair CV-580 Tanker #445 C-FEKF has sustained major damage to the aircraft and may be written off."
Earl Brant 2
A long way from the Martin Mars!
Don't you mean "Martian"????
Earl Brant 5
Hi Travis, at 70, I don't totally rely on my memory anymore. So, prior to posting anything anywhere I always check several sources... Martin Mars is correct. Cheers!
Tom Bruce 2
saw it at Sacramento last month -- beautiful... hope I DON'T see it this fall's fire season
Cole Parsons 2
Eventually they'll have A380s and Antonovs
sparkie624 1
What about the DC10, I would have figured that they would have been very close in capacity!
joel wiley 1
OLD NEWS ALERT!!! They have had this since 2006!
Scott Bruce 2
Not the first-ever, correct. But this ex-Delta airframe is bigger (-400) than the defunct Evergreen variants (-100).
Dan Mourhess 2
It was actually an Ex Evergreen 747-400. Was stored in Victorville where a heavy C check was performed, then flown to KMZJ, Pinal Airpark, There she was painted and and the tanks which were taken from the original Supertanker were Reinstalled into the Global Tanker.
matt jensen 1
Is this the Evergreen 979 Supertanker?
Largest currently in active inventory is a DC10
joel wiley 0
No, the Evergreen was a 747-100, this one is a 747-400. I thought I saw a reference to it being in a boneyard somewhere but haven't found the ref yet.
Dan Mourhess 2
The Evergreen 741 is stored at Pinal Airpark in Marana Arizona.
joel wiley 1
N470EV (ICAO A5C192) is reported stored by:
It may be at Davis/Monthan IDK.
conmanflyer 1
I thought there was a company that bought all the systems for it... I know they weren't going to use the airframe... but this -400 may just have it's improved guts


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