It has been impossible to escape the coverage of the devastating bushfires that have ravaged Australia this summer season. To fight the fires, the tremendous efforts from crews on the ground is supported by assistance from above, by way of aerial firefighting, reconnaissance and logistics.
And while some of the aircraft are specially designed for fire-suppression and water-bombing roles, there are many more repurposed and adapted aircraft used in this role. The National Aerial Firefighting Center coordinates a fleet of 130 aircraft (a number which can increase to almost 500 under peak demand) across all states and territories. These range from small, single-engine Cessna 182T aircraft used for fire spotting, through more than a dozen helicopter types (including the iconic orange Erickson Aircrane), even a Learjet for high altitude mapping and scanning.
Check out the great infographic available on the NAFC website, and be sure to show your appreciation to these aircrews and operators if you see them pass above.