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EVERGREEN INTERNATIONAL AVIATION AND AIR CHARTER SERVICE TEAM UP ON THE B 747 SUPERTANKER

1 July 2009


Air Charter Service is delighted to announce that it has signed an exclusive contract with Evergreen International Aviation of Oregon, USA to become the European agent for its Boeing 747 Supertanker.

Since 2002, Evergreen International Aviation has been developing the Supertanker - an advanced aerial firefighting aircraft converted from a Boeing 747. The aircraft won certification for operation this season after receiving its interim approval letter from the Interagency Air Tanker Board. The aircraft also received its Supplemental Type Certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in November 2008. It is now available to assist world firefighting agencies during the 2009 season and beyond. The award is unique because the Supertanker has an 8:1 drop ratio compared to that of all other current firefighting aircraft, meaning the Supertanker will forever change the way wildland fires are fought. The plane is the first of a fleet designed to accommodate the needs of U.S. and International private and public agencies.

The aircraft’s drop capabilities, effectiveness and operational flexibility are all revolutionary. It is the most advanced, targeted and largest capacity firefighting jet in the world. With a 77,600 litre (20,500 gallons) capacity, it is able of carrying almost twice the amount of retardant than any other firefighting aircraft. It is also the only aircraft to have a variable pressure delivery system, and is able to perform segmented drops, meaning it can fight more than one fire in a single mission. It also has loiter capability enabling ground control to direct it to specific areas. The Supertanker also has the ability to respond quickly to a variety of environmental and homeland security threats. Wide area decontamination, soil stabilization, oil spill response, and radiation knockdown are all within the response capability of the Supertanker, making it the most versatile aerial application vehicle in the World.

Tony Bauckham, Managing Director of ACS, was formerly Executive Vice President of Evergreen International Airlines, and was involved from the early stages in the development of the Supertanker. He commented: “After so much hard work from the Evergreen team it is exciting to see this project completed. ACS feels privileged to be able to offer this aircraft within Europe to reduce the damage caused by costly forest fires. Europe has experienced several notable forest fires in the last few years, and the Supertanker is a major addition to the continent’s fire fighting capabilities.”

Since its inception in 1990, Air Charter Service has always been available 24/7, which will prove essential when the Supertanker is required. ACS currently works alongside many European governments when humanitarian aid is urgently needed after natural disasters, and is very pleased to have added the Boeing 747 Supertanker to its portfolio of services to those same governments.

For all supertanker enquiries please email matthew.purton@aircharter.co.uk

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