COLORADO SPRINGS, CO--(Marketwired - January 24, 2017) - Global SuperTanker Services, LLC (GSTS) has been deployed today to fight the devastating wildfires that are raging across Chile, the company announced. GSTS's initial mission in Chile will be underwritten through a generous donation by Fundaciόn Viento Sur of the Walton Family Foundation, created by Walmart founders Sam and Helen Walton. The Global SuperTanker is the world's largest aerial firefighting tanker, with more than 22 times the capacity of the single engine air tankers currently in use and six times the capacity of C-130 and BAe-146 tankers. This is the second international deployment of the Global SuperTanker in the last two months; in November, it was called upon to fight fires in Israel.
"The people of Chile have suffered the impacts of these devastating fires for weeks with little relief in sight," said Lucy Ana Walton de Avilés, of Fundaciόn Viento Sur. "The Global SuperTanker will be a powerful addition to Chile's courageous team fighting to save the people, homes, businesses, and forests in the path of still-raging fires. We are pleased to support its mission, and support the people of Chile."
According to recent press reports, wildfires have consumed nearly 300,000 acres of forest in several regions in the country. There were 122 active fires as of Monday, and there are 4,000 people already involved in fighting these fires. Chile's President Michelle Bachelet called the fires "the greatest forest disaster in our history."
"The Global SuperTanker stands ready to fight fires in any corner of the globe, under any circumstance, and at any time and more quickly than any other aircraft," said Jim Wheeler, President and CEO of GSTS. "The destruction of the fires in several parts of Chile have already been catastrophic, and we hope to provide some immediate relief to the people and places most affected by the devastation. We are very thankful to Fundaciόn Viento Sur, the Walton Family Foundation, and Lucy Ana and Ben Walton for their generous support and willingness to assist the people of Chile."
Global SuperTanker's B747-400, The Spirit of John Muir, incorporates a patented system capable of delivering single or multiple payload drops aggregating over 19,000 gallons (72,000 litres) of water, fire retardant, or suppressant. These fluids can be released at variable rates from the plane's pressurized tanks, producing a tailored response to the firefighting need. This unique ability allows it to make as many as six drops in a single flight, while other aircraft such as the C-130 or BAe-146 must repeatedly land and refuel to achieve the same results. The Spirit of John Muir is the world's youngest, most modern, and fastest Very Large Air Tanker (VLAT). With a flying speed of 600 miles per hour, the Spirit of John Muir can reach any part of the globe in 20 hours or less.
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