MD-87s work Two Bulls Fire in Oregon

air Tankers 105, 06, and 101
Tankers 105, 06, and 101 (L to R) at Redmond, Oregon June 8, 2014. They all made several drops on the Two Bulls Fire. Photo by Jeff Ingelse. (Click the photo to see a larger version.)

The two MD-87 air tankers that just entered service both worked the Two Bulls Fire west of Bend, Oregon today. June 8 was the first day on duty for T-105; its sister T-101’s first day was June 4. Earlier we had a photo of T-101 taken shortly after it reported for duty.

Jeff Ingelse took the photo above and said all three ships, including T-06, the P2V, flew several loads of retardant to the fire today. Thanks Jeff!


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4 thoughts on “MD-87s work Two Bulls Fire in Oregon”

  1. Watched it on AFF. Pretty impressive to see the speeds these new jet airtankers get when traveling between their bases and the fire…. and then “low and slow” for the drop(s)…. and then a rapid return to base for “load and return”.

  2. Jack Erickson was a visionary with the use of the tanked Aircrane to fight fires. His choice to use the MD 87 is counterintuitive, but 4000 gallons on two engines seems like a pretty smart move now. These might give tanker 10 pause if all of the planned conversions get into the air.

    1. IMeversoHO, there is plenty of room for all of the planned Tankers. If anyone, these should supplant the MAFFS tankers, which according to what I remember, are only intended for emergency surge when the season gets so extreme that the contractors can’t reasonably pick up the slack. I love to see the diversity. I believe we can take this opportunity to learn the advantages of different aircraft types, and then look at long term fleet needs with a contract spec that seeks to fill all of the needs. One thing that hasn’t really been addressed, again, in my opinion, is there a niche for the medium air tanker, 1800 to 2500 gallon? Are there advantages to turboprops? I suspect that the short haul air carriers have an economic reason for choosing the Q400 for some routes. I would bet that some of the reasoning applies.

  3. Three air tankers on the ground during a going fire at one time, several drops each? Are the DC 7’s on contract? Several very dangerous starts yesterday in Ca., stopped. In the old days a 200 hour tanker season was a busy and good year. At this activity level many of the S2T’s will hit this mark by the end of the month (June).

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