Boeing 747-400 Global Supertanker
World's largest supertanker aircraft in the world, Boeing 747-400 supertanker is almost ready to start commercial operations. Jim Wheeler, president and CEO of Global Services supertanker, based in Colorado Springs, Colorado, hopes the Federal Aviation Administration of the United States to approve a supplemental type certificate modified in early May.
AC Capital Partners investment group completed the purchase of 747-400, which was participated by several years in August, with the aircraft that has undergone a major maintenance check the following month.
"We had 28 airworthiness directives that had to do, and all that work was done to put the plane back to its original state," said Wheeler Flightglobal to the Convention on International Trade in anti-air fire in Sacramento, California 23 of March. "Then we started to paint and installing tanks within January / February."
The heavy cargo freighter, registration N492EV, was received by Japan Airlines in 1991 and sold to Evergreen International. Currently he is flying under an experimental certificate and is on static display at the convention. Once commercial operations begin, Wheeler hopes to get several contracts call service with various entities worldwide. It is expected that sufficient demand between fighting the fire in the northern and southern hemispheres, more slippery oil dispersion and commercial transport liquid, to justify a fleet of "at least three planes, and maybe more."
"It is based here in the US and is likely to be on call here more than anywhere else, but we've been in Australia, Germany, Croatia, France and the European Union in Brussels to discuss this and the reception has been excellent "says Wheeler. "Being a global and have a broader business plan only fighting forest fires makes this a very viable product and service offering to everyone."
Global supertanker is seeking contracts more fixed guard, offers exclusive use, so that their aircraft can be available when and where they are needed. The cistern fills a gap worldwide, long-term ability to fight super heavy aerial fire left by the withdrawal of the Evergreen Supertanker 747-100 due to financial problems. That carried out with tank guard before firefighting contracts with the United States Forest Service, and one of its recent deployments went to Israel for the deadly Mt Carmel forest fire.
Global supertanker now owns the technical data and tank system that is installed but not ready for service on board. "We were delayed about three weeks longer than planned in the paint shop, so as soon as you leave here [Sacramento], it will come back and finish the installation of the tank, which should take seven to 10 days," Wheeler explains.
The eight main tanks can lead to 74,200l (19,600gal) of water, oil or dispersant retardant. Powered by four General Electric CF6-80-B1F engines, the 747-400 can carry the load over 4,000 nautical miles (7,400 kilometers) at speeds close to 520kt (960 kmh). Wheeler says that despite its size and capacity, the supertanker is safer than many tankers direct attack for people on the ground, because of its load is distributed over a wider area - more like heavy rains that a download of water.