A CH-47 Chinook Very Large Helitanker (VLHT) with night-flying capability operated by Coulson Aviation is working under an 83-day contract in collaboration with Southern California Edison (SCE) and the Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA).
Yesterday we had a successful exercise with @LACoFDPIO to showcase the new joint agency Helitanker.🚁 This is a regional asset that can be used in multiple counties to fight fires. The helitanker:
•Takes 1 min to fill 3,000 gallons
•Has a water drop cover of approx 10 acres pic.twitter.com/mzMC2j3pZr
— OCFA PIO (@OCFA_PIO) November 19, 2020
Registered as N42CU, the Chinook is crewed 24/7 and available for responses day and night within the 15 counties served by SCE. The daily availability costs of $2.1 million for the contract period are being paid by SCE, while the hourly costs will be covered by the agencies responsible for the fire protection where the fires occur.
The Chinook is based at the Los Alamitos Joint Forces Training Base in Orange County. It can fill it’s 3,000-gallon internal tank while on the ground, or while hovering over a water or retardant source using its retractable snorkel hose.
To the best of our knowledge, here are the maximum capacities of firefighting helicopters, in gallons:
CH-47 Chinook 3,000
S-64 Air-Crane 2,650
S-70i Firehawk 1,000
UH 60 900 or 1,000?
K-Max 700 or less