MD-87 at Redmond needs a wash

(Last Updated On: June 9, 2014)
MD-87 at Redmond, June 9, 2014
MD-87 at Redmond, June 9, 2014. Photo by Jeff Ingelse. (Click to enlarge.)

Jeff Ingelse took this photo of an Erickson Aero Tanker MD-87 parked at Redmond, Oregon Monday morning. He said both of the MD-87s at the airport had similar stains on the fuselage approximately the color of fire retardant. The air tankers made multiple sorties to the Two Bulls Fire over the weekend, dropping retardant.

Earlier on Fire Aviation the question was raised about the possibility of retardant being ingested into the engines. From the photo above, we of course can’t tell if that is an issue or not. Maybe Erickson Aero Tanker has it all figured out and it is not a problem.

Below are photos we ran on January 6, 2014 and January 17, 2014 of the MD-87 dropping water and retardant.

Erickson Aerotanker MD-87
Erickson Aerotanker (Aero Air) MD-87 test drop in early 2013. Screen grab from Erickson Aerotanker video. (click to enlarge)
Tanker 101, an MD-87
Tanker 101, an MD-87, during the grid retardant test, January 15, 2014. Photo by Jeff Zimmerman. (click to enlarge)

A video of the MD-87 being tested. It was uploaded to YouTube April 15, 2013.

8 thoughts on “MD-87 at Redmond needs a wash”

  1. Looks like that exhaust area has a red hue to it. I guess time will tell. I am pretty sure they wont fly them if they are have ingestion problems.

  2. Could those ‘streaks’ of retardant just above the wing, forward of the engines, be caused by the air deflection of the MD-87’s thrust reversers upon landing? I foresee a scenario where there is still liquid retardant on the aircraft being blown back up the fuselage when the reversers are deployed.

  3. Report for Redmond tanker base MD was doing 4 loads an hour that equals 15 minute turn arounds. Entirely possible the retardant has not dried and reverse thrust would blow it towards the nose of the aircraft. From reports I’m hearing no complaints about the MD’s.

  4. As a fire fighter the first air tankers I saw drop on a fire where a pair of N3N’s (not a computer game). MD 87, 4000 gallons per trip, no down loads, Redmond Air Tanker Base “kept up” fifteen minute turn arounds, VERY impressive! Erickson, hold that tiger, hold that tiger. Very exciting times in the private air tanker industry.

  5. It’s very interesting to watch the tanker generation change. I grew up watching the lime green CDF S2 piston pounders and other piston powered tankers. It’s exciting to see the changing of the guard, but the radials will always have a spot in my heart.

    1. Nothing beats the roar of a DC-7 passing overhead. Have a keen ear for the sound of a radial engine.

  6. First tanker I saw used on a fire was a TBM<former Navy torpedo plane. Gila Forest in the 50s.

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