Fighting Fires from Air.

Author:Hatton, Rick

10 Tanker Air Carrier, LLC (10 Tanker) has successfully introduced a su-perior capability to the fixed-wing sector of aerial firefighting and has become recognized as a world leader in this industry. The company's mission is to produce and operate large jet air tankers that enhance safety, effectiveness, and efficiency in the worldwide application of aerial suppressants on wildfires.

10 Tanker commenced research and development of next generation airtankers in 2002. Industry leading personnel from OMNI Air International with an extensive history of heavy jet operations, modifications, and aircraft ownership were assembled. After two years of research into aerial firefighting requirements and the future direction of the industry, 10 Tanker began to modify and certificate its first DC-10 for this dedicated purpose. As OMNI transitioned to 767s and 777s, 10 Tanker was formed as a separate company and acquired OMNI's highly-maintained DC-10s. Firefighting operations commenced in 2006 and continued to increase in effectiveness and geographic scope as professional fire fighters and agency managers became familiar with the benefits of increased airborne suppression loads. As demand for more capability grew, 2018 saw 10 Tanker introduce its fourth aircraft to the fleet. Client agencies now fully endorse this innovative and proven next generation product and its utilization trends upward annually.

WILDFIRES

Wildfire indicators--temperature, drought, human activities, and the deteriorated condition of forested lands--point in the direction of more, not fewer, future wildfires, Wildfire threat awareness, not only in the US but throughout the world, is at an all-time high. A body of independent research shows not only an increase in the number of wildfires but an increase in acreage burned and the inherent economic costs. Worsening trends are universally predicted. More resources are needed for suppression and protection, and are increasingly a subject of political awareness and concern. The fixed-wing aerial firefighting segment was in need of significant upgrades, a process currently being implemented or planned by numerous worldwide government agencies. Wildfire preparedness and suppression budgets are stretched increasingly thin, but measures are being taken to better address the devastating effects of uncontained wildfires where human safety and untold economic loss far outweigh apparent fiscal shortages.

THE AIRCRAFT

As with many innovations, 10...

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