10 Tanker’s upgraded DC-10 is almost ready to fight fire

This aircraft replaced the original DC-10, Tanker 910. 10 Tanker Air Carrier photo.

On April 18, 10 Tanker Air Carrier wrote on their Facebook page:

Last week our “new” 910 finished the conversion and came out of the hanger. Yesterday she made her first flight. She’ll head back to Albuquerque this week for Forest Service checks, and be ready for the fire season. What a beautiful addition to the fleet!

The “new” version of Tanker 910. 10 Tanker Air Carrier photo.

Last year 10 Tanker Air Carrier retired one of their three DC-10 air tankers, Tanker 910, the first DC-10 air tanker.

The aircraft was converted in 2004, and began working in California under a CAL FIRE contract in 2006. Since that time Tanker 910 dropped on over 500 fire missions in California, and over 750 across the country. It has been joined by two other converted DC-10s, with the third one being introduced to the fleet on August 30.

The “new” Tanker 910 is a newer air frame that will carry the same “T-910” designation as the plane that retired last fall. The work on the replacement began in early September, 2014.

“The new T-910, like T-912, is one of the last DC-10s built, and will standardize our fleet on the DC-10 -30 model,” Rick Hatton, President and CEO of 10 Tanker, said in January. He said the DC-10-30 is certified to fly at gross weights up to 590,000 pounds. On a typical firefighting mission with three hours of fuel the aircraft would lift off weighing approximately 390,000 pounds. The company says this allows a margin of nearly 200,000 pounds below the previously certified weight, which greatly enhances performance, maneuverability, and safety.

Mr. Hatton said three of their DC-10 airtankers will be available for the 2015 fire season — T-911, T-912, and the “new” T-910.

4 thoughts on “10 Tanker’s upgraded DC-10 is almost ready to fight fire”

  1. Sure is quite on the Fed side of air tanker who, where and when. Will the two CWN DC 10’s be staffed and available before the tee shirt vendors arrive at a large fully out of control house burning livestock/people killing fire? Or will a State or States plan ahead and present an emergency contract proposal (immediate available) for one of the DC 10’s to protect State Responsibility Areas. My property is surrounded by a national forest; type 3 helicopter with a 120 gallon bucket just won’t work this year, if even available. No more studies, we know the west is dry, 1910 again? The only hope is Dr. Gabberts Rx for quick containment.

    1. Johnny,

      You probably meant “quiet”, but things aren’t quite as you say.

      As far as I’ve heard, just like last year, 3 DC10s will be on exclusive use contract; 1 on a set schedule of days and the two other on a shared availability period. Both have extension provisions.

      1. Missed that, quiet. Trying hard to complete contract timber slash burning for private property owners before it becomes too dicey. 1K fuels burn like; well don’t need a drip torch to get them started. What is shared availability period? All DC 10’s on exclusive use? Mother Nature has the West in uncharted territory. I don’t believe any agency is attempting to increase preparedness or is aware of this fire season potential. Example air tankers requiring a day of rest (day off). I hope I am wrong but this season has the making of a replay of 1910.

  2. “She’s a beaut Clark, Don’t you go fallin in love with her. We’re taken her with us when we leave next month!”. Probably to California, if the weather doesn’t change…

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