The 747 Supertanker, the world’s largest fire-fighting aircraft, will arrive in Israel on Friday to help put out the many wildfires that have struck the country.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at a press conference on Thursday that he had ordered authorities to bring the American plane to Israel as quickly as possible.
In 2010, the Supertanker arrived in Israel in the final days of the Mount Carmel forest fire, in which 44 people died, and was no longer really needed.
The Supertanker is a modified 747-200, making it look on the outside like any other jumbo cargo plane, but it carries eight massive water tanks that provide it with the ability to carry about 94,000 liters of water and fire retardant material, almost 20 times more than an average fire truck.
Using its uniquely designed pressurized system, the Supertanker delivers its contents from altitudes of about 300 feet and at speeds of approximately 260 kph down a 5-km. path the width of a football field. It is reported to cost approximately $100,000-$200,000 per hour to operate.
The plane is run by a fairly small crew of just two pilots and one flight engineer.