One year ago I pondered why the Forest Service killed the deal with Evergreen for use of the 747 Supertanker. The decision was made by a non firefighting administrator just prior to a contract signing.
Had smarter heads prevailed we would be seeing the giant air tanker dropping retardant and water over fires today. What a welcomed sight that would have been.
The Evergreen 747 Supertanker can hold 24,000 gallons of retardant, twice what Cal Fire’s Tanker 910 delivers.
Tanker 910 has proven valuable to wildfire tacticians since it was put into operation last year. Tanker 910 is the big star of any fire it’s assigned to.
There is no question the future of air tankers is here, supertankers have proven value in wildfire suppression.
Here is a promotional video produced by Evergreeen International last year. Shortly after the this video was produced the Forest Service tore up the contract.
Once the deal was killed Evergreen announced the aircraft was converted to a cargo craft. Kind of like putting Secretariat out to pasture before he ever ran a race.