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This C-130J Super Hercules Is Not Smoking, It Can Kill Fire From the Air

We human beings have reached a point in our development where we can consider ourselves pretty advanced, at least technologically. But even so, there are things we still can’t do, or do effectively, despite our best efforts.
C-130J Super Hercules with MAFFS 23 photos
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One such impossible task seems to be fighting forest fires. These fires have been taking place ever since forests appeared on this planet, and even to this day, despite all our best efforts, they play out in pretty much the same way: they start, and don’t stop until they’ve burned their way through everything they can.

More recently, humans have started fighting back, and even if the results are most of the time disappointing, fires do tend to be a tad less fierce in some cases because of interventions being conducted. Especially when airborne firefighting planes are involved.

You see one of those in the main photo of this piece. It’s a C-130J Super Hercules flown by the California National Guard’s 146th Airlift Wing, and was captured on film as it was moving over the forests near Boise, Idaho, at the end of last month.

The flight was part of the 2022 Modular Airborne Firefighting Systems (MAFFS) spring training, an exercise meant to test readiness ahead of what shapes up to be a hot summer ahead.

MAFFS is essentially a self-contained unit for fighting fires, which is to be loaded into military aircraft, which in turn are sent in support of non-military forces when they are overwhelmed by the raging infernos.

The unit essentially transforms military aircraft into aerial tankers that hold not fuel, but firefighting substances. A MAFFS comprises fire pressurized tanks, holding a total of 2,700 gallons (10,000 liters) of fire retardant, a pressure tank holding compressed air, control modules, and discharge valves.

Being palletized, MAFFS can be loaded in the cargo bay of the likes of the Super Hercules.

Editor's note: Gallery shows other Gallery shows other C-130s.

 
 
 
 
 

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