How does a firefighting plane pick up water?

Sheehy: The way the aircraft picks up water, as it does not stop or suck it up, there’s no vacuum, it scoops it. And it scoops it through what you see here, two probes on either side of the keel of the aircraft, about the size of your hands put together, and as soon as you hit the water, they catch.

How much does a firefighting plane cost?

Acquiring the aircraft and converting it to an air tanker reportedly cost more than $10 million. The first-generation Evergreen 747-100 Supertanker. When it comes to tackling a major fire, a big air tanker like the 747 is sometimes what’s needed.

Do they use ocean water to fight fires?

Fire can be put out with seawater, though it is not usually used to do so. Saltwater can effectively extinguish fire, but it may damage firefighting equipment and hurt plant life if used. Saltwater use creates problems for both the water distributing equipment and the surrounding environment.

How much fire retardant can a 747 hold?

Most large air tankers carry up to 3,000 gallons of retardant. The 747 is capable of carrying far more retardant than any other. When first introduced it was listed at 20,000 gallons. Then the federal government certified it at 19,200 gallons.

Where do Helicopters get water for fires?

They can be fitted with tanks or buckets to deliver water and fire retardant to the fireline. Large, heavy-lift helicopters can fill their water tanks with a snorkel that siphons water from lakes, rivers, or other sources.

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