Fires seasons have become more severe over the past decade or more and accordingly Fire Agencies around Australia have progressively increased the scale and capability of their fixed wing aerial fire fighting resources.
Field Air provide both Contract and Call When Needed Single Engine Air Tankers, otherwise known as SEAT’s, to various fire agencies in South Eastern Australia.
In 2010/2011 a joint partnership commenced between Conair Group of Canada and Field Air. Initially the pair provided two larger Multi Engine Air Tankers (known by the acronym MEAT’s) to the State of Victoria for a one season trial. These aircraft were a pair of Convair CV580’s, each capable of carrying a payload of up to 7,950 litres. This partnership has evolved overtime and still continues today contributing to keeping the Country safe throughout each fire season.
Since 2014, Field Air have partnered with Conair to bring Large Air Tanker, the Avro RJ85, to Australia. Carrying up to 12,253 lits and dispatching at up to 425 knots (787 km/hr), the RJ is a leading aircraft in the large air tanker space.
In 2021 this same partnership brought a De Havilland Dash 8-400 Air Tanker (AT) into Australia. Operating out of Queensland and Victoria, this airframe is to reside in the Country until atleast 2025. The Q400AT is fast, efficient and flexible. Featuring Pratt & Whitney PW 150A turboprop engines, the Dash 8-400AT airtanker is the most modern airtanker in the world today. Featuring an external 10,000 litre tank with the ability to drop retardant, water, or foam/gel, the airtanker offers a proprietary Retardant Delivery System (RDS), capable of multiple, constant-flow coverage levels from a single, controlled-flow release over wildfires. Operable from most 5,000′ runways in remote or urban locations, the Dash 8-400AT performs both initial attack and support roles, offering tactical flexibility and consistent speed drops in steep, rugged terrain.