SANTA CRUZ, Bolivia (KKTV) - The Global SuperTanker, a massive aircraft used to fight wildfires that is based out of Colorado Springs, is being called upon to help battle fires in the Amazon.
Dan Reese, president of Global SuperTanker Services, confirmed the plane landed in Santa Cruz, Bolivia early in the morning on Aug. 23. Operations began almost immediately.
"We were contracted for a minimum of 14 days and are in day three of operations where we are at about a four to five drop/day tempo," Reese said Monday in an email to 11 News.
He commented further on the challenges firefighters were facing in battling the devastating fires.
"Conditions here are challenging for the firefighters and commanders on the ground, as there is just so much fire. We are supporting the Bolivian firefighters as best we can under those circumstances," he said.
On Aug. 22, the president of Bolivia tweeted the following out:
The government monitoring agency says Brazil has seen a record number of wildfires this year, counting 74,155 as of Tuesday. That's up 84 percent over the same period last year.
ABOUT THE GLOBAL SUPERTANKER FROM THEIR WEBSITE
The B747-400 SuperTanker is the true “Next Gen” air tanker. It joins the worlds fleet of aerial firefighting tankers not only as the youngest VLAT (VERY LARGE AIR TANKER) but with almost twice the capacity of the next largest aerial tanker. The two separate, but identical constant flow systems are pressurized which allows for either continuous discharge or up to 8 segmented drops. Coverage levels range from CL2 to CL8 and above. The system is approved for retardant, gel, foam and water drops or the combination of any two of these agents and ground servicing for another sortie takes approximately 30-35 minutes.
The SuperTanker operates without any speed, altitude or operational restriction and provides a level of safety to ground personnel, property and natural resources unmatched by any other tanker, civilian or military. The exceptional and superior performance of the SuperTanker is such that it departs 200,000+ pounds below maximum allowable gross weight and can land immediately without dumping fuel or retardant if the operation is cancelled.
Its dash speed of nearly 600 mph allows it to be almost anywhere in the U.S. in approximately 2.5 hours, avoiding potential traffic and ramp congestion at smaller retardant bases. Operating from its base in Colorado springs, the SuperTanker can reach virtually any point in North America in approximately 4.5 hours, ready to discharge its IAB approved load amount of 18,600 gallons of retardant before landing.
With true Global reach, the SuperTanker can be almost anywhere in the world in under 20 hours, including fuel stops, if necessary. Configured with 14 first class seats and 2 bunks for the support staff and additional flight crew, the SuperTanker arrives ready to begin previously coordinated flight operations with the host agency.
Australia 20117 Final. You Tube sharing mov from Global SuperTanker on Vimeo.