Tronos BAe 146 air tanker gains interim approval

Neptune BAe 146 tanker T-40 in action

T-40 in action in Texas (Office of the Governor of Texas)

Her latest tests having proven satisfactory, Tronos’ BAe 146 air tanker, series 200 N146FF ‘Tanker 40’ (msn E2049), won interim approval from the Interagency Air Tanker Board on 24 September, making it the first new air tanker to be approved by the US Forest Service in nearly 30 years. On 29 September, she left Neptune Aviation‘s base at Missoula to fight fires in Texas, under an interim contract through 22 December. She made her first operational drop on 30 September, on a wildfire in Kirbyville County. If this real-world test proves successful, Neptune intends to convert at least 11 BAe 146s into tankers, to replace its ageing Lockheed P2Vs.

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