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What is an Airtanker?

An Airtanker is an airplane designed and used specifically for aerial firefighting. The main purpose of an Airtanker is to dispense a substance that can help combat wildfires, such as fire retardant or water. These planes are equipped with large tanks or containers that can hold hundreds or thousands of gallons of fire-retardant substances or water, which they can often drop directly onto the flames from the air.

Airtankers typically have special modifications that enable them to make multiple drops on one flight, before returning to a nearby air base or temporary staging area to refill their tanks. Some planes have retractable scoops on their wings, which can be used to scoop water from nearby bodies of water, while others are designed to be refueled in-flight to increase their operational range.

Airtankers come in various shapes and sizes, from small single-engine planes to large multi-engine jets. They are typically operated by specially-trained pilots who work in coordination with other firefighting personnel on the ground. Airtankers play an essential role in fighting wildfires, and their ability to attack fires from the air can often be the difference between containing a blaze and having it spread out of control.

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