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747 Supertanker

747 Supertanker
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747 Supertanker Specifications
    Primary Function:
    Weight Empty:
    Max. Weight:
    Tank Capacity:
    Cruise Speed:
    Drop Speed:
    Drop Altitude:
    Climb Rate:
    First Flight:
air tanker
4- 50,100 lbs. ea.
231 ft. 10 in.
195 ft. 8 in.
358,000 lbs.
735,100 lbs.
24,000 gals.
550 mph
160 mph
400 - 800 feet
2,500 fpm
38,000 feet
4,800 miles

We are told that one 747 Supertanker equals seven conventional air tankers. The 747 Supertanker's range allows it to make a number of drops as necessary during a single air mission.

The 747 Supertanker has the capability of high pressure retardant drops for immediate suppression, or to drop retardant like a falling rain to stop the spread of a blaze.

Modern systems like Ground Position System instrumentation and high resolution radar can enable the 747 Supertanker to be used in night operations.

With a cruise speed of 550 mph the 747 Supertanker will engage problem areas much more quickly than would be possible with conventional air tankers.

Evergreen has developed what it considers the next generation of air tanker in the 747 Supertanker. The capacity to drop the equivalent of the capacities of seven conventional air tankers together with the latest in innovations for safety, make the 747 Supertanker truly unique.

The 747 Supertanker program has involved fifty professional scientists and engineers. Over 20,000 man hours have been put into making the aircraft the most safe and efficient air tanker ever produced. The dynamic mission response capability of the aircraft enable it to respond to urgent duties not only in the United States, but around the world.

The 747 Supertanker has received all of its certifications and a contract has been signed with the U. S. Forest Service.

The 747 Supertanker concept is the overall reduction in costs due to the capability of massive intervention with the least amount of flight hours. This is accomplished through:

At least seven times foam and water capacity of typical air tankers.

The ability to cruise further and stay on mission longer than conventional aircraft.

The ability of use multiple drop patterns during a single mission against a number of targets.

Forward Looking Infrared and GPS features.

Continuous alert status without stand-down during the busiest seasons.

Mach .86 cruise to get to the mission area more quickly.

A power-to-weight ratio, when fully loaded, exceeding that of other air tankers, adding to safety and performance.

A unique pressurized drop system enables the 747 Supertanker to deliver water and foam from higher altitudes while maintaining coverage and efficiency, yet another safety feature.

The 747 Supertanker has most recently been employed to fight the June 2011 Arizona blaze.

In July of 2013 the U.S. Forest Service issued a CNW (Call When Needed) contract for the 747 Supertanker.  However it was not needed during 2013.

747 Supertanker
747 Supertanker

Pictured above and immediately below is the scratch built 747 Supertanker by Art Neuenschwander. Art's 747 Supertanker is built from styrofoam, has a wingspan of 120" and weighs 37 lbs. The RC airplane is powered by two OS 91 ducted fan engines.

Estes has a 747 Supertanker. It is of EPP foam construction, with a 43" wingspan.  It is powered by four electric ducted fan engines.

Control is from two channels which give differential thrust to the motors. As supplied, the 747 Supertanker can turn, but altitude is controlled by power to the engines, not an elevator. It doesn't have ailerons or a rudder, either.

With all its shortcomings, we have read that the motors of the 747 Supertanker have more than adequate power. With that in mind, several people have modified the rc airplane for rudder, elevator and throttle controls. It is said to be an easy conversion.

747 supertanker
747 Supertanker.

747 supertanker
747 Supertanker.

The 747 Supertanker for sale by NitroPlanes resembles the actual picture of the 747 Supertanker on the top of this page.

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