Inside of the L-188 Electra. The Electra is one of the most effective large capacity or ‘heavy’ air tankers for the control of wildfires, says Alberta Ag & Forestry. The L-188 Electra is fast, maneuverable and capable of carrying 3,000 gallons of fire retardant. The four turbine engines of this aircraft give it the power it needs and range to fight distant fires and the most extreme conditions.
This plane used to be a passenger plane in the 1960s and was repurposed for wildfire fighting.
The CL-215T is an amphibious, flying boat-type aircraft specifically designed as an air tanker. It can scoop water from suitable water bodies and deliver long-term fire retardant from airtanker bases. The CL-215T has a cruise speed of 324 km/hr, and it carries 5,455 litres in a two-door compartmentalized tank. The airtanker can also inject Class A foam, which it carries in a 750-litre onboard tank, into the water load to make it more effective.