Some of the next generation of firefighting air tankers will be based at an airport in Central Oregon, along with a collection of vintage planes.
The Bend Bulletin reports that Erickson Aero Tanker of Hillsboro now has two of its MD-87 jets based at the Madras Municipal Airport and will be adding three more by the end of the summer.
The company bought seven planes from a Spanish airline, and will be converting them to drop fire retardant on wildfires.
The airport has one maintenance hangar for the planes, and will be building another.
Company founder Jack Erickson’s collection of World War II-era aircraft, now based in an old blimp hangar in Tillamook, will also be moving to Madras.