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Wed, Aug 19, 2015

Company Plans To Convert 747 Into Firefighting Aircraft

Global SuperTanker Purchases STC, Patents, System From Bankrupt Evergreen

A new company comprised of airplanes, hardware, and people from the former Evergreen Supertanker Services plans to make use of the fire suppression system STC and hardware developed by Evergreen International Aviation to convert a Boeing-747-400BCF (Boeing Converted Freighter) into an enormous tanker for fighting fires.

The website fireaviation.com reports that Global SuperTanker Services has purchased the STC and the retardant system from the bankrupt Evergreen. Global SuperTanker plans to remove the system from Evergreen's 747-100 and install it into the 747-400BCF, which has more powerful engines.

The plane will be based at Colorado Springs, according to the website flightclub.jalopnik.com. Global SuperTanker official Bob Soelberg said the airport's 11,000- and 13,500-foot runways will make it an ideal location for the large airplanes. He added that there is consistently good weather and relatively low traffic, which will give the airplane plenty of room to maneuver on the ramp. 

Evergreen had originally planned to convert as many as four of its 747s into firefighters, but only one was completed, and it has been sitting idle for the past several fire seasons due to the company's bankruptcy, and reluctance on the part of the U.S. Forest Service to embrace the idea of the jumbo tanker.

Flightclub reports that everyone that is involved in the Global Supertanker project at the upper management level was also part of the Evergreen team that developed the concept. Soelberg was Vice President of Evergreen Supertanker Services when the company filed for bankruptcy. Many of the original engineers have also been brought over to the new company.

The equipment will be installed about N492EV, which was formerly flown by Japan Airlines under a different registration.

When it is complete, Global SuperTanker says they will be able to carry 19,600 gallons of retardant or water 4,000 miles.

The website isn't anything more than a placeholder page so far ... but watch this space.

(Image from file)

FMI: www.globalsupertanker.com/

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