DC-10 receives approval to fight fires in Australia

DC-10 air tanker arrives in Australia
In Melbourne on December 14, Pilots Captain Jack Maxey, left, and Captain Kevin Hopf in front of the DC-10 water bomber (as they call it down under), Victoria’s latest weapon in bushfire fighting. Photo: Paul Rovere

The DC-10 air tanker has received all of the necessary certifications from the government in Australia so that it can be used on fires. The Victoria state government and the Country Fire Authority will be conducting a trial of the aircraft during their summer fire season. It arrived in Melbourne on December 14 and can carry about 11,000 gallons (42,000 l.) of retardant or about 12,000 gallons (45,000 l.)  of water.

Interestingly, some of the media in Australia have nicknamed the DC-10 the “super soaker”. Officially in the USA, it is in the class of “very large air tanker”, but I guess “super soaker” rolls off the tongue a little easier down under.

UPDATE Jan. 9, 2010

Wildfire Today has discovered that the first recorded use of the term “super soaker” (according to Google anyway) when referring to the DC-10 air tanker was in an article that appeared on January 28, 2006 in the Press-Enterprise.

Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire. Google+

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