Heli-Tanker

I was talking to a new friend the other day about my job as a firefighting helicopter pilot. He asked me if the Erickson Air Crane that I flew was the largest fire fighting helicopter in the world. It is not. The best fire fighting helicopter in the world, but not the largest.The Chinook is a bit larger than the Air Crane and the Russian Mil 26 is about as big as both of them put together.

My friend asked about fixed wing water bombers. He wondered if the Canadair CL 415 was the largest water bomber. It is not. It is the best fixed wing water bomber in the world but not the largest.The Russians have some large water bombers naturally and the old Martin Mars is still a sight to behold. There are 747 ‘s and a DC-10 converted for water bombing as well.

Size is not everything when it comes to water bombing aircraft. A combination of water carrying capability, maneuverability and reliability are the more important than just an ability to carry a lot of water or retardant.

Some photos of the aircraft I mentioned  are shown below.

1193569901033877690The Mil 26.

chinookThe Chinook

The Canadair CL 415

cl415iluyshin-ii-76td Ilyushin-II-76TD Water Bomber

scale-with-keithThe Martin Mars(with me by the wheel)

1129042133033877690Big is not always better. Just ask my Italian copilot Luca with one of Italy’s best fuel truck drivers backing him up.

About Heligypsy

Has it really been forty three years flying helicopters all over the world? I guess its time to share some stories, I hope you enjoy my adventures.
This entry was posted in Contract helicopter pilot, helicopter firefighting, Helicopter Pilot, Random rantings, U.S. Travel and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Heli-Tanker

  1. Nice Photos a combination of water carrying capability, maneuverability and reliability are the more important than just an ability to carry a lot of water or retardant. 747 ‘s and a DC-10 converted for water bombing as well.
    Helicopter hire London

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