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!
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.