09 Nov CAL FIRE news release 10/7/2014
From a press release by CAL FIRE regarding the success and reliability of their S-2 Fleet
“The benefits of the (CAL FIRE) modernization program are obvious – retardant capacity increased from 800 gallons in the piston-engined S-2 to 1200 gallons, cruise speed increased from 150 mph to 280 mph, and general performance, especially in hot weather, improved. The Turbo Tracker also has an increased endurance of up to five hours – most flights only last 30 minutes, so this improved endurance, coupled with the rapid reloading, means that the aircraft can operate many trips to a fire before needing to be refueled.
“In addition to these benefits, the Turbo Tracker is also much more reliable and economical than earlier S-2s, boasting the highest dispatch reliability in the air-tanker industry. It is capable of operating from smaller airfields than larger air tankers, and is rated to be flown by a single pilot, offering further cost savings.”