A converted McDonnell Douglas DC-10-10, dubbed the Super Tanker by specially formed conversion company 10 Tanker STC, conducted daily water-drop demonstrations at the show. Capable of dropping up to 45,600 litres (12,000 USgal) at rates up to 5,690 litres/s, the former American Airlines aircraft has been converted for owner Omni Air International and Cargo Conversions into a firefighter, with an Erickson Air-Crane-designed tank system made by Jordan Aircraft Services. Based at Victorville, California, 10 Tanker STC hopes for US Federal Aviation Administration certification within the next two months. Certification still depends, however, on the successful conclusion of a final batch of test flights. This should make it available in time for the most intense period of the annual fire season in North America, although several demonstration flights are also planned between missions. The aircraft normally conducts drops from 200ft (60m) at around 140kt (260km/h), and has a fully loaded operational radius of 925km (500nm) flying at 310kt. The water drop is controlled from the flight engineer’s position using a computerised gravity feed system. On return to base, the water tanks can be replenished in around 8min using three fire hoses. The tanker has a 5,550km ferry range with tanks fitted.

Source: Flight International