Plane Can Drop 20,000 Gallons of Hurt on Wildfires

And you thought that DC-10 could drop a lot of water.

Crews Thursday in Sacramento demonstrated a B747 designed to drop water on wildfires.

The plane flies at about 500 feet when it drops 20,000 gallons of water, leaving a big splash in its wake.

The plane has a drop pattern of three miles in length and about the width of two football fields, according to Evergreen International Aviation. Evergreen plans to convert as many as 10 747s into water-dropping aircraft, according to the Mercury News.

DC-10s are California's largest water-dropping aircraft.

But maneuverability can be a problem, especially in canyon areas.

State and federal officials are evaluating the 747.

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