Tanker 161

RJ-85, tanker 161

The National Interagency Fire Center posted this photo of Aero Flite’s RJ-85, Tanker 161, on the agency’s Facebook page. They did not specify where it was taken, when, or the name of the photographer.

Tanker 161 and its sister, Tanker 160, became fully carded and operational a couple of weeks ago.

Aero Flite chose the external retardant tank option, rather than an internal tank. Other air tanker companies retrofitting the BAe-146, which is similar, have found the infrastructure inside the aircraft’s belly challenging to work around or move when installing an internal tank.

6 thoughts on “Tanker 161”

  1. Perhaps meeting those challenges head-on, and spending more R&D time, effort and money to manufacture a quality delivery system on a better-performing platform might yield positive reviews from fire managers when comparing all the aerial assets on offer today. I wonder if these comparisons may affect renewals of future contracts, or if merely meeting the defined contract specs is sufficient? Are there ongoing ground truthing efforts (beyond cup grid tests in flat fields) underway with all the Next-Gen aircraft types? Is there data being compiled to better understand what each airplane/tank combination can deliver (capacity vs cost etc) on actual missions?
    I understand the first question might be difficult to answer right now, but is anybody aware of ongoing performance evaluations?

  2. First, all the tanks out today are gravity minus MAFFS.
    Second, there are evals ongoing by Leads, ATGSs, and ICs. Companies get written evals by these folks.
    Third, it is not BOI.

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