The first flight was made al Cranfield on 4 September 1987 of the prototype MacAvia-BAe 748 Turbine Tanker, a conversion sponsored by California-based MacAvia International to adapt the aircraft to the fire-fighting role. The BAe 748 converted was acquired from Eastern Provincial in Canada and. now registered G-BNJK, has been fitted with a 2.000-US gal (7 571-l) ventral pannier tank that can be removed and refitted al short notice. The cabin remains available for the aircraft to be used as a freighter and it can be reconfigured for passenger carrying if not required for fire-fighting for prolonged periods. Modification of the BAe 748, which arrived at Cranfield in mid-April, included strengthening of the fuselage frames and installation of reinforcing structures and strongpoints. Cranfield Aeronautical Services, a subsidiary of Cranfield Institute of Technology, is responsible for the design, modification, flight testing and certification.