747 Supertanker drops on a fire in Israel

747 Supertanker
The 747 Supertanker, T-944, drops on a fire in Israel northwest of Jerusalem on November 26, 2016. Screen grab from video by @ShaiBenari

The 747 Supertanker, Tanker 944, dropped on a wildfire in Israel today northwest of Jerusalem. This was the first drop on a fire this version of the Supertanker has made.

After a 12.5-hour non-stop flight from Colorado Springs the aircraft arrived in Tel Aviv at about 10:25 a.m. MST time on November 26, which was after dark at the Ben Gurion International Airport.

The drop made today occurred at around sunset.

Jim Wheeler, President and CEO of Global SuperTanker Services, said it dropped the entire 19,200-gallon load of water. While sometimes air tankers in Israel drop fire retardant, he explained that the authorities often prefer water when the aircraft is working over populated areas.

Shai Ben-ari (@ShaiBenari) recorded a video of the drop. The image above is a screen grab from the video. And, here is another video, by @Israel, which shows the entire drop. Below is a screen grab from that second video.

Supertanker dropping
Screen grab from a video by @Israel of the Supertanker dropping northwest of Jerusalem, November 26, 2016.

This is not the first time a Supertanker has been mobilized to Israel. In December 2010 the first generation of the aircraft dropped on the Mt. Carmel Fire.

Before the drop the 747 took off from Tel Aviv and loitered over the Mediterranean for a while before it apparently made a dry run over the fire and then dropped on the next pass. The entire flight lasted about two hours.

supertanker 747 Israel
The flight of T-944 as recorded by FlightRadar24.

5 thoughts on “747 Supertanker drops on a fire in Israel”

  1. The above goes to show that, while the 747 is being replaced in passenger service by more economical twin-engine jetliners like the A350, there are interesting niche applications for the 747. Fire aviation is one such. For those interested, a 747-400 aircraft was chartered by a heavy metal rock band for a round-the-world tour this past year.

  2. The 747 is not owned by USA, it’s a privately owned tanker which is their sole income. Of course they’re gonna get paid for it. People in Israel didn’t have the foresight to come up with one of their own.

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