Last week Coulson’s Tanker 132, a Lockheed L-382G, went through the grid testing procedure, which involves dropping loads of retardant into a grid of hundreds of cups placed on stakes. Then the amount of retardant in each cup is measured to determine if the pattern across the grid meets the standards of the Interagency AirTanker Board.
An L-382G, also known as an L-100-30, is a civilian version of a Lockheed C-130, which has been stretched about 15 feet compared to the L-100.
The aircraft will eventually receive a “wrap” that will look like a fancy paint job, similar to the one on T-131.
Coulson Aviation (USA) Inc. of Oregon announced today that they have acquired a second aircraft which they will convert into an air tanker. Formerly operated for a number of years by Alaska-based Lynden Air Cargo, the Lockheed L-382G is the civilian version of a C-130E.
Wayne Coulson, the Chief Executive Officer of the company, said they will install a 4,800 USG Coulson RADS XXL tank into the aircraft beginning in November of this year.
Coulson Aviation has been operating Tanker 131, a C-130Q which is similar to a C-130H, since August of 2013. The tank in T-131 can hold almost 4,000 gallons; their average load this year has been 3,700 gallons.
Mr. Coulson said:
It is our understanding that the USFS will have a “Next Generation II” Air tanker bid opportunity in the fourth quarter of 2014, and we want to be ready to participate in the bid process. Our current C-130Q firefighting aircraft has been performing extremely well, and both the aircraft and the 4,000 USG RADS XL tanking system have exceeded expectations.