Forest Service Announces Next-Gen Air Tanker Contracts

May 07, 2013 No Comments by

Neptune Aviation’s three new British Aerospace 146 fire-bomber jets were left sitting on the runway when the U.S. Forest Service announced contracts for seven “next-generation” firefighting aircraft on Monday. The contractor, based in Missoula, Mont., recently won contracts for six of its Lockheed P2-V Neptune propeller-powered bombers and one BAe 146 on short-term agreements with the Forest Service.

But the agency opted to work with five other vendors, all but one of whom are using former passenger jetliners, in its $158 million, five-year contract. They are:

Minden Air Corp. of Minden, Nev.: one BAe 146

Aero Air LLC, Hillsboro, Ore.: two McDonnell Douglas MD-87 jets (a plane never before used for firefighting)

Aero Flite Inc., Kingman, Ariz.: two Avro RJ85 jets (a longer version of the BAe 146)

Coulson Aircrane USA, Portland, Ore.: one Lockheed C-130Q Hercules (a modified version of the C-130 military transport)

10 Tanker Air Carrier LLC, Adelanto, Calif.: one McDonnell Douglas DC-10 jet (which recently visited Missoula)

For the complete story by Rob Chaney of the Missoulian, click here.

Photo by Neptune Aviation

Civilian, Featured News

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Online Editor I've been around airplanes since I was a kid. That's when my uncle, a professional pilot, showed me how to fly his Cessna 177 Cardinal. l later became a writer and editor, so covering the exciting and ever-changing aviation industry -- which I've been doing in Flight Journal's Flybys since the late '90s -- was a natural fit.
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