747 SuperTanker arrives at McClellan

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Above: Tanker 944 at McClellan Air Base in Sacramento, California, March 22, 2016. Photo by Bill Gabbert.

The 747 SuperTanker arrived at McClellan Air Field in Sacramento today after flying in from Marana, Arizona where it received a new paint job. It will be on static display for attendees the Aerial Firefighting conference until Wednesday, March 23.

Bob Soelberg, Senior VP and Program Manager of Global Supertaker, said the retardant delivery system still needs a few tweaks before it can actually drop water or retardant, but they hope to have it ready to fight fire later this year.

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Retardant delivery system on Tanker 944 at McClellan Air Field, March 22, 2016. Photo by Bill Gabbert.
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Tanker 944 at McClellan Air Field, March 22, 2016. Photo by Bill Gabbert.
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Retardant delivery system on Tanker 944 at McClellan Air Field, March 22, 2016. Photo by Bill Gabbert.
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Retardant nozzles on Tanker 944 at McClellan Air Field, March 22, 2016. Photo by Bill Gabbert.
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Tanker 944 at McClellan Air Field, March 22, 2016. Photo by Bill Gabbert.
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Tanker 944 at McClellan Air Field, March 22, 2016. Photo by Bill Gabbert.

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8 thoughts on “747 SuperTanker arrives at McClellan”

  1. What a great picture! I’m sure this web site will cover many of the questions associated with “what is next”? Who is Global Supertanker? Like many good ideas and inventions a product has to be at the right place and time, fulfilling a specific need, with public awareness driving the project. Case studies, 2000 gallon helitankers, Martin Mars in California and the DC 10 all may have been left sitting on the airport ramp or lake (failed history) if it hadn’t been for CDF (Cal Fire) making at least an attempt to explore a products potential. Another good study is the Super Scooper’s attempt to break-into the U.S. market. Hopefully Global Supertanker will look at past history of these successful ventures. Free advise: location, location, location, don’t sit home watching the green grass grow all summer waiting for the phone to ring. Go to where the fire potential is significant and let the public know you are “in town” and ready to work. Like a flying circus.

    1. Nothing like a little incentive-as in a B-747 setting on the ramp ready to fly..
      And a curious media watching the fire boil over the nearest hill…

      1. Mr. McCoy very well put! Reminds me of the DC 10 days when certain Federal agencies said it would never work (in the mountains). A close friend of mine made the first request for the “10” to build some serious quick line as a small community was about to be threatened. Every airtanker has its place. Only time an use will see if the 747 fills the bill both in application and cost?

        1. Most military deployments are drills, not actual combat…as ‘funded’ deterrents…as I remember my time during the ‘Cold War’ into Vietnam.

          1. Mr. Albright are you sure you are on the right web site? The VLATs (DC 10&747) have their place, but the entire fire “theater” is composed of all types of ground and air cast members. At the end of the show (fire) everyone is listed as a participant. The only difference this and a movie production is that there are no stars or leading ladies.

  2. Mr. Coldwater, Movies? As I recall flying ASW from two carriers 4 years in the Far East “Theater” of the Cold War, we were once a ‘Battle Group’, later a ‘Strike Group’ after Gulf of Tonkin. Perhaps your comparisons to movies and stars is ‘homeboy talk’. First Strike is “Shock & Awe” with max capacity. That’s a VLAT role, not ‘cleanup’, thanks to Jim W. I’ve been following the Supertanker since Evergreen (Marana) with Bob McAndrew’s Long Beach FAA STC days…trying to get it to the Day Fire. Had it deployed, it would have done at the beginning what the rain finally did in the end…as I watched from my Lockwood Canyon. The evacuees finally came home, though we stayed in our canyon. The USFS/BLM in their infinite wisdom set their backfires on our north slopes with ‘ping pong balls’ in the afternoon ‘onshore’ winds, expanding the fire up the mountains, vs stalling. The loss of containment is history. The recycled S2’s (HUK) we worked with in Asia flew as mini-tankers over my head this time instead of in sortie.

    Not a movie…no ‘leading ladies’ except the crews and ‘ground support’ dozens of engine companies looking for escape routes…up my road.

    Yep, been on this web site a long time. Even had AIAA host an Evergreen rep to talk ‘Ready Rooms’. Semper Fi.

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