The Boeing 747 Global Supertanker in action

Johanna Koyser
2 minutes

The days of the Queen of the Skies are numbered in many places. However, there is a special model modification of the Boeing 747, which will probably continue to fly in the future. The Boeing 747 Global Supertanker, the largest fire fighting aircraft in the world.

Currently, the colossus is in action during forest fires in California. Because with its capacity of around 74,000 liters for water or extinguishing agent, the Boeing 747 Global Supertanker is a powerful tool in the fight against fire. Approved by the FAA in 2016, the aircraft was given the registration N744ST and has since been in service worldwide, including Chile, Israel and Bolivia. So the Boeing 747 Global Supertanker sees a lot of the world, after all it is currently also the only fire-fighting aircraft of its size. Experts know that fire-fighting planes based on the 747 were already in existence before 2016. However, these two are no longer in service today. During its fire-fighting maneuvers, the aircraft is able to fly over fires at a height of only 120 to 240 meters. And this at a speed of “only” 260 km/h. 

It is an absolutely impressive sight to see the Boeing 747 Global Supertanker in action. However, it isn’t a cheap operation. Just one flight of the giant costs 16,000 US dollars. However, since the Boeing 747 Global Supertanker’s missions are about protecting people and nature, such figures are often rather unimportant.

Picture © LLHZ2805 / CC BY-SA

by Johanna Koyser

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