The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection has contracted the worlds larges aerial firefighting tanker to combat fires across the state.
The first U.S deployment of the Global SuperTanker, a converted Boeing 747-400, flew drops of retardant over the 3,880 acre Ponderosa fire in Oroville.
The giant aircraft is currently stationed at McClellan Air Field where CalFire has a reload base. It will be deployed when needed per the contract with Global Super Tanker Services.
“I mean the big thing is we can drop a lot of retardant in one load,” said SuperTanker pilot Tom Parson. “When you can take 18,000 gallons out to the fire, you know where as it might take a lat six trips to do that.”
The aircraft can hold more than 18,500 gallons of fire retardant that can be dropped all at once or in pilot controlled bursts. The plane has also been used to fight fires in Israel and Chile.