Russian IL-76 arrives in Chile

IL-76 747 SuperTanker

Above: The IL-76 and 747 SuperTanker (L to R) at Santiago, Chile airport, January 30, 2017. photo.

At 5 a.m. Monday morning an IL-76 very large air tanker arrived in Santiago, Chile after 9,300-mile flight that included three refueling stops. It was welcomed in the darkness by officials from the Chilean government.

According to the Russian news service Sputnik International the aircraft can carry up to 42 metric tons of water which converts to about 11,574 gallons. In comparison, most of the air tankers in North America carry 1,400 to 4,000 gallons. The DC-10 holds 11,600 and the 747 has a 19,200-gallon capacity.

Accordign to (in an automatic translation from spanish by Google):

Alexander Markov, the colonel and group leader who will operate the ship in Chile, said that the year the aircraft was used in operations in Israel, Portugal, Greece and Indonesia and that the pilots of the aircraft have extensive experience in fighting fires.

There were no reports Monday morning that it brought two helicopters or came with a second IL-76 as was speculated.

The air tanker was expected to remain in Santiago for most of the morning before moving on to its temporary base at La Araucanía International Airport, also known as Temuco Airport, in southern Chile.

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