The Erickson Aero Tanker MD-87T forest fire bomber plane has landed in Chile.
It joins the fleet of the Chilean company Ecocopter with the aim of providing services to the National Forestry Corporation (CONAF) in its forest firefighting efforts.
The Aero Tanker has a cargo capacity of 11,356 liters of water and reaches a maximum speed of 788 km/h. With ports located on the side of the fuselage, it can discharge up to 2,271 liters per minute.
Erickson highlighted that the MD-87T is versatile, as it can operate on smaller runways compared with other large-capacity aircraft. In addition, their tanks can be loaded quickly in an average of around seven minutes.
Armando Weinberger, General Manager of Ecocopter Chile, said: “We are sure that this plane, which in a few hours will be available for CONAF operations, will be a key contribution to fighting forest fires and preventing their spread once the emergency is activated, in order to have a timely, rapid and effective response.”
For this 2023-2024 season, the Aero Tanker has expert crews and is commanded by two pilots, as well as having a staff of mechanics, engineers, and logistical support of more than six people.
“Having the presence of this plane and its specialized crews at this time and during the season is an example of how the state, together with the private sector, have been preparing to address the most complex period of forest fires in the best possible way,” added Francisco Arriagada, Ecocopter Commercial Manager.