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747 to be used for firefighting

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posted on May, 20 2004 @ 03:11 PM
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Just imagine the next time you see smoke over the ridge and suddenly you sight a 747 doing 140kts at 400 feet inbound to the fire. You have a feeling of comfort knowing that the aircraft can put as much water on the fire in 1 second as an older P-3 could carry as its whole load. But its still disconcerting to see such a large aircraft maneuvering this low to the ground.

Supertanker

By Bryan Corliss
Herald aerospace writer

An Oregon company is experimenting with using a modified Boeing 747 to drop enormous amounts of water on wildfires.

In initial tests, the prototype - a modified 747-200 cargo jet - performed remarkably well, said Penn Stohr, director of flight operations for Evergreen International Aviation's 747 "supertanker" program.

"Its maneuverability is very, very good for its size," he said. "We're very, very satisfied."

Evergreen has been working on the program for about two years, but the concept gained new urgency after the federal government's joint tanker board grounded some of the contractors who used to provide aerial firefighting services to the U.S. Forest Service and other agencies, citing safety concerns.




posted on May, 20 2004 @ 03:50 PM
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i think to be used for this purpose they will have to rebuilt the entire airplane !
the B-747 was built only for transporting passengers / freight from point A on the ground to point B on the ground !
NOT to drop the load in flying condition !
the stress on the wings in loaded and quick unloading
suddenly will be enormous and could cause catastrophes just like the C-130 HERC & PB4Y-2 PRIVATEER accidents.

[Edited on 20-5-2004 by NOGODSINTHEUNIVERSE]

[Edited on 20-5-2004 by NOGODSINTHEUNIVERSE]



posted on May, 20 2004 @ 03:55 PM
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Says right in the article I linked to that there were no problems experienced by the sudden release of the payload,

"Evergreen put the prototype through more than 75 hours of flight testing last month in Arizona, Stohr said. It proved capable of flying slow enough (140 knots, or 160 mph) and low enough (down to 400 feet) to deliver its loads on target, he said".

"Some feared that the sudden release of all that weight would make the plane unstable, but the tests proved otherwise, Stohr said"
.



posted on May, 20 2004 @ 03:59 PM
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thats incredible. That is something I would really like to see. The size of those things is immense, the ammount of water they must be able to drop....flying around 400ft to the gorund sounds like fun.



posted on May, 20 2004 @ 04:44 PM
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they should use that massive russian plane
the one designed to transport then russian space shuttle



posted on May, 20 2004 @ 05:00 PM
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Originally posted by devilwasp
they should use that massive russian plane
the one designed to transport then russian space shuttle




Are you talking about An-225?

The Antonov An-225 Mriya is a heavy-lift transport. It was designed to carry piggy-back loads which are too big to fit into its fuselage. For example, the Buran Space Shuttle. Mriya means dream. It is the world's largest aircraft in the world. It was derived from the An-124. The An-225 uses 6 engines, whereas, the An-124 has 4 engines.

The An-225 first flew on 21 December, 1988. Only one An-225 was built, however, a second plane may be built.

The An-225 was going to be used as the first stage of the Maks Space Launch System. The Maks Spaceplane and an expedable fuel tank would have been carried piggy-bank on the An-225. There are plans to launch a Maks-T manned version in 2006. This version carries an expendable 2nd stage with payload container containing spacecraft.


Specifications

Type: Heavy Transport

Powerplants: Six ZMKB Progress Lotarev D-18T turbofans with 229.50kN of thrust each

Max take-Off Weight: 600,000kg

Max Payload (internal or external): 250,000kg - 275, 000kg?

Wingspan: 88.4m

Length: 84m

Speed: 800km/h

Height: 18.1m

Cargo Hold: Length: 35.97m; Width: 6.4m; Height: 4.39m

Range with Max Payload: 4,500km

Range with Max Fuel: 15,400km

Crew: 7

Out,
Russian



posted on May, 20 2004 @ 05:26 PM
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it is the abnormal wear & tear that can cause the problems.



posted on May, 20 2004 @ 10:39 PM
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Originally posted by NOGODSINTHEUNIVERSE
it is the abnormal wear & tear that can cause the problems.



Your right there, it would take extra attention to airframe and power plant maintenance due to the short cycle takeoff and landings as well as the stress of operating in the more turbulant low altitude flight envelope required along with the sudden unloading of the airframe. As long as Evergreen keeps up the accelerated maintenance I can see no problem using the 747-200 in this role according to what was said in the article.



posted on May, 20 2004 @ 10:54 PM
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Yeah sorry but when it comes to firefighting planes just buy our Canadian Bombarier craft. Because while a 747 can drop a lot of water the 415 water bomber is much better suited(smaller, more manuverable) and most importantly can refill its water tanks at any calm water. Given the right situation it could probably turn over more water per hour then the 747.



posted on May, 20 2004 @ 11:00 PM
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Yup thats a really neat aircraft and the water pickup is great as long as a lake is within reasonable distance, but we poor brothers south of the border like to think BIG, Bigger is better doncha know ay.



posted on May, 21 2004 @ 05:44 AM
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the costs to keep the B-747 flying as a waterbomber will rocket skyhigh due to the plenty long inspections before and after each waterload dropping !
just take in account the hours the inspectors/specialists will have to be paid !!

in other words:you can use ANYKIND of aircraft to make it a waterbomber but at what costs ??
if nobody can pay the bill than this B-747 stays on the ground !
the people ordering the waterbombers have a budget and they can not go over this (controlled) budget.



posted on May, 21 2004 @ 07:55 AM
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THis is bad. Us firefighters joined to fight fire, not watch something else do the work.



posted on May, 21 2004 @ 08:15 AM
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Originally posted by devilwasp
they should use that massive russian plane
the one designed to transport then russian space shuttle


I believe that the Russians offered the use of their heavy firefighting plane during our fire season out west and we refused their offer. I don't know much more than that but I remember the news article discussing it. It seemed like petty pride back then.



posted on May, 21 2004 @ 08:46 AM
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i think we should go high tech here !

a bomb that explodes above groundlevel and SUCKS UP all oxygen.

without oxygen the fire is finished !

ofourse before dropping such bombs everybody must be evacuated out of that zone !

wild fires would be much easy to counter this way and...without much more damage too !



posted on May, 21 2004 @ 09:44 AM
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would give ur bomber crews valuable exsperience u not think?
actually thats 1 way they do fight fires no gods
burn the fuel before the fire reaches there



posted on May, 21 2004 @ 10:29 AM
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not conventional bombs !

but a bomb that sucks away all oxygen in the range of about 1 kilometer!
i have seen videofootage of firetornadoes and the height was over 100 meters so the new bomb would have to be developped to counter ofcourse such things.

bomb is not intended to put out a campfire ofcourse



posted on May, 21 2004 @ 12:44 PM
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but theres no fun in that plan!
the us always has left over weapons just use them boom there goes the fire



posted on May, 21 2004 @ 12:52 PM
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Originally posted by NOGODSINTHEUNIVERSEa bomb that explodes above groundlevel and SUCKS UP all oxygen.

without oxygen the fire is finished !


Like this? news.bbc.co.uk...

They'd have to reengineer the bomb because it's currently used as a penetrating weapon. I imagine an airburst type of bomb? Wouldn't any detonation create huge dust clouds? Is the resulting environmental disturbance any better or any worse than the fire itself?



posted on May, 21 2004 @ 03:06 PM
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What about using a fleet of old WWII bombers (B-29 or B-17)? The've got a lot of them. Are some still able to fly?



posted on May, 21 2004 @ 03:09 PM
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airburst type yes !
it does not penetrate into the ground but explode above the groundat height of 50-100 meter and sucks all oxygen in the reaction away from the fire.

so there actual will only be the influence of kinda quick vacuum without any other damage !



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