Video: reloading the 747 SuperTanker

This shows part of the process of reloading the 747 Supertanker with compressed air and 19,200 gallons of water. Much of the work was done by local bomberos (firefighters) who fine-tuned the process making it quicker every day.

On January 27 we wrote more about reloading the aircraft.

3 thoughts on “Video: reloading the 747 SuperTanker”

  1. Really nice coverage you are doing on this deployment. It legitimatizes this aircraft doesn’t it? Loading sure seems to be a lot easier with water, less messy too. So many hands compared to the US tanker bases. Hope to see some coverage of the effectiveness of the drops, perhaps FLIR.
    Won’t be long before the military starts converting c5a’s to go along with the longline Ospreys.

  2. One way to increase flow is have larger diameter loading hoses. This will also require pumps capable of pumping the additional gpu.
    For air delivery special high volume, high pressure pumps are required. After working with MAFFS for many years, special portable compressors were manufactured to supply 3,000 psi in a short time. Recommend check with the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho, for information on where the MAFFS portable compressors were obtained. Also onboard compressors can reduce loading time. New MAFFS units use this system. Also specially built. I am sure you are failure with this info. Sure can dump lots of mud. Good luck.

    1. In our 2013 article, Ten things to know about MAFFS military air tankers, number 8 covered the compressed air issue:

      8. The retardant is pumped out of the 3,000-gallon tank by compressed air stored in two tanks at 1,200 psi. The compressed air tanks on the new MAFFS 2 units are refilled by two onboard air compressors which can fill the tanks in 15 to 20 minutes. Or, they can be refilled by one of six portable USFS air compressors on the ground (in about 14 minutes) that are moved around to air tanker bases as needed when the MAFFS aircraft are activated. The first generation MAFFS 1 units, no longer used, did not have onboard air compressors and had to be refilled on the ground. The contracts for the MAFFS 2 units specified that the air tanks had to be refilled by the onboard air compressors in no more than 30 minutes.

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