Conair Avro RJ85 air tanker makes her first flight

Conair RJ85 Air Tanker N839AC/Tanker 160

Conair RJ85 Air Tanker N839AC/Tanker 160 lands after the first flight (Conair)

Conair‘s first RJ85 air tanker conversion, N839AC (msn E2270), made her first flight on 21 August. Unlike Tronos’ air tankers, Conair’s conversion uses an external tank. The 3,000 US gallon tank is attached to the bottom and the sides of the fuselage, a configuration that Conair had already used on its Bombardier Q400 air tanker conversions, and can hold either water or retardant. N839AC was converted by Conair at its facility at Abbotsford. Following her first flight, she commenced a series of test flights with the support of BAE Systems. She will eventually be operated by Aero-Flite, in whose colors she is already painted, as Tanker 160. In May, Aero-Flite received a ‘next generation’ contract to operate two RJ85 air tankers from the US Forest Service.

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