YouTube - BAE 146
two or three
4 x 6,970 lbs. ea.
The United States Forest Service has selected the modified BAE 146 as their newest generation water bombing aircraft.
Nine BAE 146 passenger jets have been modified as water bombers by Neptune Aviation, Missoula, Montana. The aircraft were successfully evaluated. Aero-Flite, Spokane, Washington has five BAE 146 aircraft converted to water bombers and Air Spray, Alberta, Canada has two.
Neptune tells us that the BAE 146 is among its most quite aircraft in operation. They are easy to refuel, using only a single connection.
The engines of the BAE 146 should prove more reliable than those on the piston engine aircraft. They consume only a fraction of the lubricating oil during normal operations.
It will be possible to reach a designated area in about half the time due to the BAE 146 having about double the speed of the piston engine aircraft, and also being able to cruise at higher altitudes.
The BAE 146 also carries nearly double the retardant load, and is capable of precise delivery of retardant in varied amounts as specified by the crew, depending upon need.
British Aerospace produced a total of 387 BAE 146 airliners before production ended in 2001.