Canada-based company Tronos has developed a fire fighting airtanker version of the BAE 146 airliner.
Following trials with the US Forest Service in Montana, the 146 has been released into service and is currently based in Texas with Neptune Aviation Services. “We are excited by this breakthrough,” said Mark Coffin, Tronos’ conversion maintenance facility manager. “This is a triumph for our leading design and production teams.”
The 146 had its 90 seat passenger interior removed and replaced by a 3000 USG (11,356 litre) tank system that disperses fire retardant.
Tronos says the 146 is the first new airtanker to be approved by the US Forest Service in nearly 30 years, and will pave the way to replace the ageing fleet of CV580, P-2 Neptune, P-3 Orion and S-2 Tracker fixed wing airtanker airframes currently in service.