Photos of P-3 Orion air tankers at McClellan

Also: A DC-10 and Coulson’s most recently converted C-130

P-3 Orion air tanker T-23

Above: Air tanker 23 testing at McClellan.

When Sergio Maraschin saw our article about Airstrike Firefighters signing a call when needed contract with Colorado for their P-3 air tankers, he realized we needed some more current photos of the recently refurbished aircraft. He took these at various times over the last six weeks at Sacramento McClellan Airport.

The article linked to above has the details about Airstrike’s recent projects.

Thanks Sergio!

P-3 Orion air tanker T-23 T-17 T-912
Air tankers 17, 23, and 910.
P-3 Orion air tanker T-23
Air tanker 23, over McClellan.

Coulson’s T-134, a C-130Q, has come a very long way since April, 2017. Check out these photos, here and here, taken as the project was just getting started. It is amazing what private industry can do in 16 months when they want to convert an aircraft into an air tanker. The Air Force dithered for almost five years when they were supposed to be converting seven former Coast guard HC-130H aircraft into air tankers for the U.S. Forest Service, and never fully completed any of them. Now it appears the state of California will get the reborn air tankers, when and if the USAF completes the work.

T-134 C-130 Coulson
This is T-134, Coulson’s most recently converted C-130Q air tanker. Brett Coulson told us as far as they are concerned it is ready to fight fire. They intend to wait until after the fire season to paint it.

5 thoughts on “Photos of P-3 Orion air tankers at McClellan”

  1. The government ought to share the cost with Coulson of operating and converting the military herc’s . All the costs , from acquisition , training , fuel cost , installed systems and every cost the government has spent for the last ten years on this boondoggle of using government owned planes for firefighting , including the cost of the one that crashed and lawsuits . Then divide the actual cost and come up with an hourly government operated rate and then give that rate to Coulson and let that be the rate for C-130 firebombers . Total BS that the government is even involved in operating firebombers . Let private industry use the resources the government uses to upgrade their fleets ! Dg

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