A DC-10 firebomber operated by US company ‘10 Tanker Air Carrier‘ landed at Avalon airport near Geelong at approximately 1335 on December 14.
The aircraft, DC-10-30 N17085, will be based at Avalon from January to March on standby to respond to bushfires anywhere in Victoria. It is capable of dropping 45,600 litres of water or retardant with an operational radius of 500nm at 310kt
In November, the Victorian government announced that it was calling a tender to lease either a DC-10 or Boeing 747 water bombing aircraft for the 2010 summer. “Large aircraft that can carry up to eight times the water or retardant of smaller firefighting aircraft are untrialled in Australian conditions and Victoria will lead the way in testing their ability to help fight fires this season,” Victoria’s Police and Emergency Services Minister Bob Cameron said on November 9.
The aircraft will be able to reach anywhere in Victoria within 45 minutes, while it is also expected to be made available to other states in the event of a major bushfire emergency.