Tag Archives: DC-7

DC-7s Retired To The Sun

Erickson currently flies a bunch of MD-87s are firefighting jets.  However, these are a relatively recent addition to the service and they have replaced Douglas DC-7s.  The DC-7s were still in service when I first made a visit to Madras in 2015 but they have now been retired.  However, three of the airframes are stored on the ramp at Madras and we took a look around to see how they were fairing.

They looked in great condition.  The dry atmosphere at Madras is good for storing aircraft.  Some engines have been removed but the three jets are in the most recent paint finish and parked in a line.  They make for an interesting subject.  I have no idea how far from airworthy they are should anyone want to get any of them flying again (aside from the engines that have been removed) but they look like they have been taken care of.  I would have loved to have seen one airborne but sadly, that time has passed.

DC-7 Tanker

C59F8125-HDR.jpgI previously posted an item about the DC-7 tanker that was parked up on the Erickson ramp. Over the course of the few days we were there, this aircraft had a few visits from me. It’s positioning was not always ideal for what I wanted. The evening light was often great for photos but, sadly, the aircraft was almost exactly tail on to the setting sun. However, that did provide some silhouette options as well as playing with HDR to see if I could come up with something I liked.

C59F8084.jpgOne morning the sun came up as there was still some rain in the area. There was some good light on the nose for a while but the best option was the rainbow that formed in the background and was well aligned with the aircraft. I tried a variety of things over the days and some of those results are here. Of course, it would have been far more fun to see it in action!


Is There Any Oil in This Thing?

C59F8061.jpgParked up on the ramp at Erickson’s facility was a DC-7 tanker. It didn’t move while we were there so it became the target of a number of photographers at any one time. I shall show more of it shortly but one thing that caught my attention was the amount of oil on the engine nacelles. Old piston engines are well known for consuming oil at a prodigious rate and this beast was no exception. It seemed to have done a great job of relocating the oil from the internals of the engines to the outside of the nacelles. It made for some great patterns and this was what distracted me for a while as I walked around the aircraft.


Redmond Airtanker Base

C59F7914.jpgMy trip to Madras involved flying in to Redmond airport, about half an hour south of Madras. Hayman and I came in on the same flight and shared a ride to Madras. As we drove out of the airport, something interesting caught my eye on the other side of the field so we did a little exporting before heading off. Redmond has a base for Airtanker operations in support of firefighting. The aircraft that I had first seen was a DC-7 that had been converted for tanker operations and was painted up in Erickson colors. It looked immaculate and the activity suggested it might be preparing to depart. With fires in the surrounding hills, there was plenty of work.

C59F7888.jpgWhile we waited for it to start up, a BAe146 tanker conversion landed and taxied in to the base. It was the first time I had seen one in person. Sadly the fencing around the base was rather touch to shoot through. Hayman made good use of the gap under the gates but my camera shape did not allow that. I had to make do with shooting through the fence where possible.

C59F7907.jpgShortly after the 146 came in, the DC-7 fired up and taxied out. With it gone, we figured it was time for us to continue on our way too.