Forest fires have become more and more common as climate complexities increase. Complex socio-economic factors also lead to people being affected by smoke, debris flows, and other wildfire effects. The best means to control or extinguish wildfires is through aerial firefighting aircraft.
There are many different kinds of civilian and military aircraft that have been repurposed to fight forest fires. Some of these have been completely remodeled to perform low-dive maneuvers and store water. Watching an aircraft dump an entire lake’s worth of water on a fire is quite satisfying. So let’s watch some of these fantastic aircraft in action.
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Aerial FireFighting Aircrafts
1. Air Tractor AT-802: Air Tractor’s AT-802 is a multi-purpose single-engine aircraft that has completed 25 years of successful operation. With a water-carrying capacity of 3100 liters, AT-802 can take off from land and water. It also comes with floats that can scoop 130 liters of water from a lake or river.
2. Bombardier 415: This Canadian aircraft, previously known as Canadair CL-415, is a famous amphibious water bomber worldwide. It stands out for its ability to load 6,100 liters of water in 12 seconds. It can also perform various other roles, such as search and rescue and utility transport.
3. DC 10 Air Tanker: This wide-body aircraft can carry 45,000 liters of water or fire retardant and discharge it in only eight seconds. The U.S. government has deployed this aircraft all over the country due to frequent forest fires. It is the only aerial firefighting aircraft with such a massive holding capacity.
4. Airbus C295W: Active in Ukraine, this aircraft has versatile firefighting capabilities with a record of 31 successful operations. C295 water bomb comes equipped with two internal tanks that can carry 7,000 liters of water or fire retardant. The aircraft can also perform various tasks, such as parachute and cargo dropping, electronic signals intelligence, medical evacuation, and maritime patrol.
5. Lockheed C-130 Hercules: The C-130 of the U.S. Airforce made headlines back in 2012 when it crashed while fighting a wildfire in South Dakota. It has a massive capacity of 15,000 liters of water (refillable in no more than 12 minutes).
6. Beriev Be-200: The Be-200 can take off and land on the water while carrying 12,000 liters of water. Two of these Russian Jet warriors helped to fight a devastating forest fire in Greece in 2007. It has four retractable water scoops that can load 12 tonnes (26,000 lb) of water in 14 seconds.
Which of these aerial firefighting aircrafts did you like the most? Let us know in the comment section below. Click here to read more articles like this.
These are the best aerial firefighting aircrafts in the world right now