Super Scooper Plane Scoops Water From Skilak Lake to Fight Swan Lake Fire. Screengrab from YouTube.
A US Fish and Wildlife Service officer looks back over her left shoulder to watch a Super Scooper aircraft swoop in low and skim across Skilak Lake. The Swan Lake Fire began in June 2019 and raged for months, burning more than 162,000 acres of land south of Anchorage, Alaska.
Air assets available to wildland firefighters include helicopters using the Bambi Bucket tool to drop water over the flames, C-130 aircraft that deploy streams of red retardant, and these incredible amphibious planes.
The concept of the flying boat amphibious aircraft was born before World War I. Pan American Airways used nine Boeing Model 314 Clipper planes, produced from 1938 to 1941, to fly commercial clients overseas in the height of luxury. Yet in time, the hardened concrete runways built during World War II to enable the transport of both personnel and materiel made the water bombers almost obsolete. Then came Canadair, which developed the CL-215, or “Super Scooper,” in the 1960s.
The Super Scooper today has four water tanks with a total capacity of about 1,620 gallons. Traveling at 100 mph, the aircraft needs 10 to 12 seconds maximum to fill a full payload of water before liftoff. Although rare, the water bombers have existed in rotation since the 1990s and are a great asset to wildfire suppression in the right situations.
Matt Fratus is a history staff writer for Coffee or Die. He prides himself on uncovering the most fascinating tales of history by sharing them through any means of engaging storytelling. He writes for his micro-blog @LateNightHistory on Instagram, where he shares the story behind the image. He is also the host of the Late Night History podcast. When not writing about history, Matt enjoys volunteering for One More Wave and rooting for Boston sports teams.
Thirty Seconds Out has partnered with BRCC for an exclusive shirt design invoking the God of Winter.
Lucas O'Hara of Grizzly Forge has teamed up with BRCC for a badass, exclusive Shirt Club T-shirt design featuring his most popular knife and tiomahawk.
Coffee or Die sits down with one of the graphic designers behind Black Rifle Coffee's signature look and vibe.
Biden will award the Medal of Honor to a Vietnam War Army helicopter pilot who risked his life to save a reconnaissance team from almost certain death.
Ever wonder how much Jack Mandaville would f*ck sh*t up if he went back in time? The American Revolution didn't even see him coming.
A nearly 200-year-old West Point time capsule that at first appeared to yield little more than dust contains hidden treasure, the US Military Academy said.
Since the 1920s, a low-tech tabletop replica of an aircraft carrier’s flight deck has been an essential tool in coordinating air operations.
For nearly as long as the Army-Navy football rivalry, the academies’ hoofed mascots have stared each other down from the sidelines. Here are their stories.