Water-bombing aircraft are pretty standard wildfire-fighting equipment. Helicopters that spew fire onto the forest? Not so much.
The crash of a Cal Fire tanker plane on Tuesday afternoon has added to the tragedy of this year's wildfires in Yosemite National Park. The Grumman S-2T went down while fighting the Dog Rock fire, near Arch Rock, killing the pilot.
The Beriev Be-200 Altair is a well-known tanker aircraft, used for firefighting. It may not be pretty, but the Russian-designed plane can drop 3,170 gallons of water on a blaze in one second. Now that Colorado is looking for a fleet of firefighting planes, an agreement has been made to build the Be-200 on U.S. soil.