Neptune Aviation becomes an all-BAe 146 operator


Neptune's BAe 146 Tanker 12 in action

Neptune Aviation’s BAe 146 air tankers were kept busy during the 2017 fire season; here Tanker 12 is seen in action against the La Tuna fire in California, on 4 September (Susan Colosimo)

Neptune Aviation Services became an all-BAe 146 operator on 30 September, when it officially retired its last Lockheed P2V Neptune air tankers during a ceremony at its Missoula base. Neptune selected the BAe 146 as a replacement for its P2Vs, and started working on an air tanker conversion, in cooperation with lessor Tronos, in 2009. The first 146 air tanker, N146FF/Tanker 40 (msn E2049), entered service in 2011. As the 146 fleet has grown, the P2Vs have been gradually retired. The company operated four P2Vs during the 2017 fire season, alongside eight 146 air tankers. A ninth 146 air tanker conversion, N478NA/Tanker 16 (msn E2074) is nearing completion at Missoula and was on display during the P2V farewell ceremony.

Update 11 October: Neptune returned to service two of its P2V air tankers to help fight the devastating fires in northern California.

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