Wildfires aren’t going away. If anything, rising temperatures mean we need to up our game in fighting blazes, and you’ll never believe what one company just did to make that happen.
A company with the unusual name of Global SuperTanker has just finished its biggest project to date, the 747-400 conversation named Spirit of John Muir. The plane is named for the conservationist who catalogued the wild lands of the American West. And the jumbo jet that bears his name is now fully certified to operate as an aerial platform for fighting wildfires (as well as for going after oil spills), missions that Muir himself, who died 11 years after the Wrights first went flying, surely would have applauded.
The new tanker has almost twice the capacity of the next biggest aerial firefighter. It’s capable of delivering single or multiple drops of nearly 20,000 gallons of water or fire retardant, either of which can be released at variable rates from its pressurized tanks, producing a tailored response to the firefighting need.
The fact that it’s a big jet helps, too. Global says the range and speed of the new tanker will make it a quick responder across vast distances. The big Boeing jet will be able to fly at nearly 600 mph from its home base in Colorado Springs and reach any mission in the western United States in less than three hours. And it will be able to go international, too. The range and speed of the B747-400 give it the ability to arrive anywhere in the world in 20 hours with a single fuel stop.
Learn more about Global SuperTanker.