Evergreen to get CWN contract for 747

We will classify this as Breaking News. Evergreen has not had a Call When Needed (CWN) contract for their 20,000-gallon 747 Supertanker for a while, but they will get a new three-year CWN contract beginning July 1, 2013.

When the company had a CWN contract before, the aircraft was very rarely used, making it difficult for the company to justify maintaining the ship and the flight crew in a ready to go state. It will be interesting to see if it sits, or actually drops retardant on fires.

Maybe the U.S. Forest Service, the agency that awarded the contract, is looking for a stop-gap, to fill the void until the all seven “next generation” air tankers that recently received exclusive use contracts become fully certified. Only one of the seven is, the DC-10.

The CWN contract for 10 Tanker’s second DC-10, Tanker 910, will also be renewed for three years on July 1. It was activated Friday morning and flew to Albuquerque.

The other DC-10, Tanker 911, recently got a five-year exclusive use contract. It has been busy for the last two weeks dropping on fires in California, New Mexico, and Colorado

(UPDATE June 15, 2013)

Thanks to John, we have the numbers in the contracts:

  • Evergreen 747 – Daily Rate $75,000 + Flight Rate $12,000
  • 10 Tanker DC-10 – Daily Rate $51,522 + Flight Rate $7,668

More details about the prices in the contract awards.

(UPDATE at 2:25 p.m. MT, June 17, 2013)

I was wondering why the contract for the 747 does not start until July 1. Today I found on an aircraft forum what might be the answer — in February, 2012, the Supertanker was photographed in the desert missing two engines.

(UPDATED info HERE, August 22, 2013)


26 thoughts on “Evergreen to get CWN contract for 747”

  1. It will be interesting to see if gets used this time. 10 tanker has done a great job of showing the value of having VLATs in the tool box.

  2. Big Fires Call for Big Boy Planes ! Don’t let your State Burn Down ! Call for the Big 747 and Drown it Fast !

  3. Erickson Air-Crane recently bought Evergreen Helicopters including some fixed-wing assets. Is the 747 air tanker now operated by Erickson or a separate fixed-wing operation still owned by Evergreen?

  4. There’s room for moreTankers.
    I m glad to see the Vlats getting attention but the first priority is Initial Attack…meaning more airplanes to make it short and simple.

    This is the best tactic, we all know it, but it requires more assets and a tactical spread of tanker bases. It also requires a top notch dispatch system…… and no wars between Regions and Agencies…..

  5. Ok, so 9 (7 P-2s, 2 BAe-146s) aircraft on the “Legacy” contract, 2 DC-10s, one 747. Coulson’s C-130 and Minden’s BAe-146 may be close? Still, only 14 aircraft with a reasonable timeframe, the other Next Gen aircraft are in my mind, pretty borderline for availability for this season. Add in the MAFFS sprayers, whatever help we can bring in, we are (as has been said ad nauseum) still short of large aircraft.

    I wonder how quickly Neptune can finish the tank upgrades on their other two BAE-146 aircraft, and add them as “Legacy” tankers. I wonder if that played into their dropping the protest?

    And, while I’m not a fan of Eminent Domain, I wonder if it would be possible to get a couple of the better condition Aero Union P-3s back in the air in a reasonable timeframe. Sure would be nice to know the support was there when I’m hiking around central and eastern Washington later this summer. We really appreciated seeing a CL-215 working while we were firing like mad over by Coulee City.

  6. Step in the right direction. Sitting at KLGD looking at local SEAT sitting on the ramp -May be time to look at the TBM days again.

      1. You gotta pay the bills when you have the work. And they may believe they have the USFS over a barrel. They may only get called for 10 days, instead of the 160(?) MAP.

        Still, I bet they will be the first resource demobed!

  7. Don’t forget the cross border agreements. Nine different Canadian Convair 580s fought wildfires in the continental US last summer. In addition, several Canadian L-188 Electra’s (there are nine on fire contracts) and CL-415s (there are 33 CL-215T/415 turboprops, plus some piston models) flew ‘splash and dash’ missions from their Canadian tanker bases to hit fires in the US border states. If the Canadian wild fire season is quiet, more aircraft will be available to respond National and regional requests for air tanker support in the US.

  8. Several times I have heard that the SEAT’s where grounded due to wind. Isn’t the cross-wind component for the DC 10 and 747 about 30 m.p.h. for take off at or near gross? Says something about mass.

    1. The DC-10 dash 30 “demonstrated” crosswind capability was 31 kts. I think our company limit when I was doing commercial flying [a long time ago] was 25 kts. Didn’t fly the ’10.

      Another advantage of a “heavy” would include greater tolerance for turbulence.

    2. Speaking of winds and mass, I remember 6 or 8 years ago the wind at Rapid City Regional Airport was so strong that the airport was closed to landings and takeoffs. But, a previously scheduled multi-day exercise for the B-1 bombers at Ellsworth Air Force Base a few miles away continued as planned, with many, many takeoffs and landings. Of course if our bombers and fighters had to be grounded by a little wind, that would be a serious weakness in our military readiness.

  9. I’m glad they are giving the 747 another chance but from a taxpayer standpoint I would much rather my tax dollars go to IA air tankers or to the other DC-10 on an exclusive use contract. I am still not fully sold on the effectiveness of the 747.

  10. Matt

    I would say the ’47 is faaaar more effective at this point in time than any Airtanker study to date…

    Maybe ask the Israelis how effective it was a few years back during the break out of fires near Haifa……I was not there…..but since the USFS was so effective in contract operations the last few years, I would imagine the 747 is more effective and personally with what is flying today……..

    I would not exactly be sold on Agency contract operations…..I would be mo sold on ANY operator that could deliver the mud…….making anyone pretty good this season…….contract or not…..IATB or not.

    I would look at Agency effectiveness before 747 effectiveness anyway. The 747, even with its limited “effectiveness” as seen by many….has been faaaaar more effective than most contract issues this year

    1. Various commercial aircraft operators I have spoke with in Israel said that Evergreen Boeing 747 dropped TOO high to be very effective in December 2011 and was NOT ideal for such a small country. They say it was a big PR exercise … for TV … after a busload of people died in fire. I visited several Israeli helicopter operators and an air tanker base in 2012 and spoke to helicopter and air tanker pilots who had been flying Bell 412s (offshore) and Turbo Thrushes when the Carmel Fire started in Dec 2011. They said that in 2011 Israel was poorly prepared … the country lacked a national wildfire agency and and Israel ran out of fire retardant within a couple of days. Influx of foreign air tankers from Spain. France, Croatia, Greece, Turkey, Cyprus and Russia included C-215s/415s, Q400 and Russian Il-76 and jet amphibian, Bell 412s from Cyprus (RAF and Cyprus Police) with bambi buckets … the Evergreen Boeing 747. The Israeli pilots (all ex-IAF or in active reserve) told me some nations flying CL-215/415 more effective than others. Israel subsequently acquired eight Air Tractor AT-802F which are based in north and south. One of their more challenging missions for AT-805F pilots is to containing wildfires caused by missile fire from Lebanon into northern Israel. During the last hot war, a SEAT pilot told me he flew through air space with extensive IDF fighter and helicopter activity and outbound artillery fire towards Lebanon … to hit the wildfires … and had to coordinated with the artillery batteries to stop firing so they could make their retardant drops… I can’t imagine a Boeing 747 air tanker operating in such conditions …

      1. The 747 can drop from higher than the DC-10 because it has a pressure delivery system which force the fluid through the wake. It has been very effective when used.

  11. Any plane in the air (if it’s airworthy, whole ‘nother can o’worms) is a good plane. Let the people on the incident make it fit with their needs, once they get control of it. Given the tools, Air Group and Air Attack will find a way to use it.

  12. Well Ken

    I can stand corrected and value the comment due to a country more in a combat zone and the delivery of mud too high….maybe the Evergreen crews envisioned that.

    In a country as large as the US…….what is our next excuse of the US Airtanker system? Too few? Too large? Too..too…too. What?

    If the 747 is not effective……then why in God’s
    name was there a “USFS / NASA study done at Dryden? That study hold less water than a wonderful IATB evaluation?

    The argument will continue……..the US LMA air tanker system has had plenty of time to improve in better times…….either by their own faults or the Beltway…nothing has improved and we are still at approximately 9 airtankers, six studies, and a system of contracting that operators can shoots holes through, with a system of protesting that is legitimate due to laws written, lawyers hovering, and politicos ready to overstep and ride herd on legal processes and then all of the those folks saying…..we got it all handled.

    Uhhuh……..we here in the States, especially in the land management arena got lots of work to do and this season is proving once again…….the Airtanker program needs to be in more capable hands…..

  13. The 747 is “Board Certifided”. An aircraft only responds to the crews input. Too high not the planes fault. Ineffective, water marginal, foam good, gel better, long term retardant best.

  14. I could have sworn I saw the Evergreen 747 Super Tanker take off from McClellan AB today (9/8/13) at about 1225 (Sacramento, CA). It was headed in the same direction the DC10s were taking when they were taking off from McClellan for the Rim Fire. Could she have been called up?

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