Last weekend, I visited Castle Air Museum in Atwater, California. In addition to the 50+ combat and support aircraft on display, there was this weather-beaten Air Force fire truck.
In the early 1950s, America LaFrance was tasked by the United States Air Force to design and build fire trucks that could be airlifted.
This Type O-11B was the third iteration, preceded by the O-10 and O-11A. The O-11B was 31 feet long and weighed around 15 tons when fully loaded. It was able to hold 1,000 gallons of water, 100 gallons of foam, and 40 gallons of bromochloromethane (what fire extinguishers used in the 1950s and 1960s).
An 820 c.i. Continental engine rated at 310 horsepower moved the little beast. An air-cooled Continental engine acted as the auxiliary power source.
Here is an O-11B that was for sale recently. You should really check out the seller’s YouTube channel– military vehicles, hovercrafts, a C3 Corvette, and a Model T?
And here is a bonus shot of my Popemobile in front of an SR-71 Blackbird at the museum.
Hat tip to Lukas and m4ff3w for identifying this truck for me. More photos of this rig here.
Images source: Copyright 2012 Hooniverse/Jim Yu