DC-10 Firefighting Tanker Busy
A DC-10 converted to drop firefighting retardant helped crews battle a stubborn fire near Santa Paula, CA Sunday. The aircraft dropped 12,000 gallons of retardant on the fire, which has been burning for three weeks and is threatening homes. "It's been very, very effective and very impressive," forestry agency spokesman Matt Streck told the Los Angeles Times. "Each drop looks like it covers more than half a mile of terrain." As AVweb reported in 2004, the plane was quietly developed by a company called 10 Tanker Air Carrier, of Victorville, Calif. The aircraft made a splash (sorry) at the 2005 Paris Air Show with a demonstration drop and it's been busy since July, helping to snuff fires from Washington State to California. The California Department of Forestry caught it on video on a fire in July. More information, including video and still images are available, here.