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49. The Ilyushin-76: These giant forest-fire-fighting planes can hold 11,000 gallons... that's over 4 times more water than any other firefighting aircraft. That's enough to put out a four-acre blaze in one run. Or enough to cover an entire stadium full of Promise Keepers with dog semen. Whatever. The point is, they're sure to come in handy when global warming turns even the once lush Pacific Northwest into a tinderbox.
Originally posted by Phoenix
An Oregon company is experimenting with using a modified Boeing 747 to drop enormous amounts of water on wildfires.
In initial tests, the prototype - a modified 747-200 cargo jet - performed remarkably well, said Penn Stohr, director of flight operations for Evergreen International Aviation's 747 "supertanker" program.
"Its maneuverability is very, very good for its size," he said. "We're very, very satisfied."
Evergreen has been working on the program for about two years, but the concept gained new urgency after the federal government's joint tanker board grounded some of the contractors who used to provide aerial firefighting services to the U.S. Forest Service and other agencies, citing safety concerns.