Representatives from Evergreen International Aviation are currently in discussion with senior-level officials with the California Department of Forestry (CDF) to arrange for the Boeing 747 Supertanker to be utilized on certain California fires this August.
The Supertanker’s pressurized application system disperses water, foam, gel, and retardant at the speed of falling rain from altitudes as high as 800 feet, which enables the aircraft to operate safely at night when fires are most vulnerable to firefighting tactics. Current gravity-drop tankers operate at around 200 feet. The Supertanker has the potential to rewrite the rules of engagement in aerial fire fighting.
Evergreen has invested over $35 million of its own money and over 20,000 engineering hours to develop the Supertanker, which has a capacity of over 20,000 gallons. According to Sam White, Evergreen’s Vice President in Washington DC, Evergreen is “extremely pleased with our test results thus far and we expect the international firefighting community to be quite impressed as well. With this patent-pending technology, we believe we can better control the fire environment and create safer working conditions for our firefighters. In the near future, we will also report on significant progress regarding the Supertanker’s other mission roles involving weather modification and biochemical decontamination response.”
The Evergreen Supertanker may play a central role in the CDF’s 50-year anniversary celebration in August.