Getting a Little Too Close to The Drop Zone of a Water Bomber

Helping firefighters on the ground during intense forest fires in Quilpue, Chile, an Ilyushin Il-76 water bomber drops its water cargo. The Ilyushin Il-76 (NATO reporting name: Candid) is a multi-purpose four-engine turbofan strategic airlifter designed by the Soviet Union’s Ilyushin design bureau. It was first planned as a commercial freighter in 1967, as a replacement for the Antonov An-12. It was designed to deliver heavy machinery to remote, poorly served areas. Military versions of the Il-76 have been widely used in Europe, Asia and Africa, including use as an aerial refueling tanker or command center. A variant of the Il-76 also serves as a firefighting water bomber.