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DC-10 Fire Tanker  
User currently offlineBeau222 From United States of America, joined May 2005, 117 posts, RR: 0
Posted (6 years 11 months 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 8149 times:

What a sight to see this plane in action, under different circustances this would have been an awesome thing to see in real life. Question is I have seen two videos that show the DC-10 in action and in each one there looks like a small chase or being chased plane that is in the lead. Is this a normal thing or just something on these videos where they act like a marker guiding the plane to a drop zone?

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=1a7_1193165376

27 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineA300 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 474 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (6 years 11 months 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 8140 times:
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The other aircraft is probably the spotter.


Boland Aseman Jayegah Man Ast.
User currently offlineLrdc9 From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 610 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (6 years 11 months 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 7909 times:

Personally, I love the orange paint! Looks spicy.


Just say NO to scabs.
User currently offlineFreshlove1 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (6 years 11 months 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 7790 times:

How in the world do they refill it? does it drop a scoop and pick up the water from a lake or do they have to land and refill it on the ground then go back up?

User currently offlineWjcandee From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 5165 posts, RR: 22
Reply 4, posted (6 years 11 months 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 7766 times:

There's already a lot on this aircraft (Tanker 910) on the forums and on the internet.

It lands and refills at an airport. It can turn in less than half an hour. CalFire likes it because it has the same kind of Erickson Skycrane gravity drop tank as the helicopters do, albeit one that's much larger, and therefore uses the same "coverage level" nomenclature as a familiar piece of equipment.

The little plane you see is the lead aircraft. It is traditional to have a guide aircraft lead any tanker into the fire zone and line it up over the drop area. Even though the DC10 is much bigger, they use this procedure with the DC10 as well. Indeed, one of the tests that they ran with the thing was how well it could coordinate with the lead plane.


User currently offlineAmtrakGuy From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 500 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (6 years 11 months 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 7737 times:

I'm curious -- do they fill the DC10 full (whole fuseage where passengers used to sit and cargo holding) with water (or special fire-fighting water)?? If so, does DC10 needs a long runway to take off? Because filling up the DC10 with water is way heavy than with passengers and cargo.

Anyone can provide me a link to a website I can view inside the DC10 water tank?

Thanks so much in advance.

Dave


User currently offlineBoston92 From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 3390 posts, RR: 7
Reply 6, posted (6 years 11 months 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 7699 times:

Quoting AmtrakGuy (Reply 5):
Because filling up the DC10 with water is way heavy than with passengers and cargo.

Yeah, but it is made up with the reduced fuel.



"Why does a slight tax increase cost you $200 and a substantial tax cut save you 30 cents?"
User currently offlineAmtrakGuy From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 500 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (6 years 11 months 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 7664 times:

Quoting Boston92 (Reply 6):
Quoting AmtrakGuy (Reply 5):
Because filling up the DC10 with water is way heavy than with passengers and cargo.

Yeah, but it is made up with the reduced fuel.

ahhh..didn't think of that.....they usually fly out from nearst airport after filling up the tank (rather than where they're based if it was in North California or Aroniza). Thanks Boston92.


User currently offlineBeau222 From United States of America, joined May 2005, 117 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (6 years 11 months 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 7644 times:

OK I did not know this, I was under the impression that the fuselage is where the retardant was housed.
http://www.fire.ca.gov/newsreleases_...2006archive/Tanker910factsheet.pdf


User currently offlineRFields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 7607 posts, RR: 31
Reply 9, posted (6 years 11 months 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 7599 times:

To summarize the notes

The tanker carries 50 tons of water - about 12,000 gallons - in three separate EXTERNAL belly tanks. It takes 8 minutes ot refill the tanks on the ground - they have to land after each drop.

That is about the amount of water of 10 regular S2T tankers.

A Beech King Air E-90 flies lead and guides the DC-10 into it's drop zones.

The DC-10 does not try to apply specific pinpoint drops on active fires - but lays down large areas of retardant mix to create fire barriers. There is apparently a plan to try direct application with gel at some point this year.

It's not stated - but I would expect the aircraft flies at a relatively light weight compared to it's past commercial passenger weight or a similar aircraft cargo weight / MTOW. Though the aircraft drops 100,000 pounds of retardant - they want it at a light enough weight as far as fuel to make quick landings and a fast turn around.

(Air Force fuel tankers do not replace fuselage volume with liquid - no plane could lift such weight. They may have some extra tanks but the interior is largely empty. Remember for aircraft - weight is everything)


User currently offlineArcrftLvr From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 826 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (6 years 11 months 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 7560 times:

Evidently, when the plane was making the drop on the Lake Arrowhead fire, it hit some wind shear and the lowered flaps almost hit the tree tops. What a disaster that could've been. Did anyone else hear this?

User currently offlineHawaiian717 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 3195 posts, RR: 7
Reply 11, posted (6 years 11 months 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 7484 times:

Quoting AmtrakGuy (Reply 7):
rather than where they're based if it was in North California or Aroniza

The aircraft is based in Victorville, which is in Southern California.


User currently offlineWjcandee From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 5165 posts, RR: 22
Reply 12, posted (6 years 11 months 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 7385 times:

Quoting ArcrftLvr (Reply 10):
Evidently, when the plane was making the drop on the Lake Arrowhead fire, it hit some wind shear and the lowered flaps almost hit the tree tops.

They did hit the tree tops. There's some media coverage of it and I believe a discussion of it here. They bent the leading edges and the thing was out of commission for several days while it was fixed. They determined that the situation was unusual, and have taken some steps to try to keep it from happening again. Had the thing crashed, it would have been the end of the larger-tanker program for sure. It was *very* close.


User currently offlinePlanenutzTB From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 256 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (6 years 11 months 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 7358 times:

Quoting Wjcandee (Reply 12):
They did hit the tree tops. There's some media coverage of it and I believe a discussion of it here. They bent the leading edges and the thing was out of commission for several days while it was fixed. They determined that the situation was unusual, and have taken some steps to try to keep it from happening again. Had the thing crashed, it would have been the end of the larger-tanker program for sure. It was *very* close.

I live in So Cal and have listen to a number of experts on fire fighting. Many have been critical of the DC-10 for fighting fires. There opinions are that the DC-10 was not designed to fly that slow and low in smoky conditions and mountain terrain. They feel the DC-10 is a disaster waiting to happen. If the DC-10 goes down hundreds of fire fighters on the ground could be killed.



I am extraordinarily patient, provided I get my own way in the end.
User currently offlineFlagshipAZ From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 3419 posts, RR: 14
Reply 14, posted (6 years 11 months 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 7335 times:

Planenutz, I'm a native Angeleno, having lived in the greater LA area for 25+ years, and I too have seen the fires of the past & listened to the experts. If many are critical of the DC-10 fighting fires, the property & home owners are not. The firefighters knew the risk taking the job, which involves working with water-bombers. Granted, the DC-10 was never designed to fight fires, but neither were the majority of other aircraft doing the same job albeit on a smaller scale. Only one aircraft, the CL-215/415 family was built for this purpose.
If the DC-10 goes down (God forbid), there will be loss of life, but "hundreds" of firefighters is doubtful, since all firefighters are spread thru-out the fireline.
The DC-10 is doing a dangerous job for certain, but the risks are worth it and rewarding, if not calculated.
Regards.



"Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." --Ben Franklin
User currently offlineThreepoint From Canada, joined Oct 2005, 2138 posts, RR: 9
Reply 15, posted (6 years 11 months 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 7326 times:

Quoting PlanenutzTB (Reply 13):
I live in So Cal and have listen to a number of experts on fire fighting. Many have been critical of the DC-10 for fighting fires. There opinions are that the DC-10 was not designed to fly that slow and low in smoky conditions and mountain terrain. They feel the DC-10 is a disaster waiting to happen. If the DC-10 goes down hundreds of fire fighters on the ground could be killed.

Yeah, sure they're experts. The DC-10 (and any airtanker aircraft) is not operating outside the envelope for which it was designed. It's simply flying a different mission for which it was designed. As are almost all other firefighting aircraft (the CL-215/415, Beriev 200 and AT-802 are notable exceptions). The smoke in the air has nothing to do with flight characteristics, save for obscuring visibility.
I have my opinions on using a large expensive and thirsty aircraft for firefighting use. Given a choice between one large (DC-10) airtanker or ten S-2's or four P-3's, etc, I will take the flexibility of multiple aircraft any time. The main drawbacks are the loss of efficiency when using such an airplane and the expense of operating a jet airplane at low altitudes on short turnarounds.
The DC-10 is not a 'disaster waiting to happen' any more than any other aircraft. Should one actually crash on or near the fireline, the chances of killing several hundred people are so slim as to be preposterous. The only way I can see that happening is of they were actually aboard, which of course doesn't happen.
For those wondering what the interiors of the airtankers look like, imagine all the seats, upholstery, overhead bins and liners removed with nothing but the structural ribs and stringers visible. There are some cross-braces for strengthening due to mounting of the retardant tank on some of the larger aircraft. Quite boring, really.

I haven't claimed to be an expert on anything on this website, however I am when it comes to aerial firefighting. That's what I do.



The nice thing about a mistake is the pleasure it gives others.
User currently offlineUAL-Fan From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 374 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (6 years 11 months 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 7261 times:

From a thankful San Diegan, THANKS GUYS, my hats off to the people that fly this amazing beautiful machine. I get overwhelmed with emotion every time I see it in action. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!

User currently offlineBennett123 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2004, 7615 posts, RR: 3
Reply 17, posted (6 years 11 months 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 7145 times:

Threepoint

I understood that the AT802 was designed as a crop duster, not for firefighting.

Whilst the only effect of the smoke is on visability, surely the heat patterns and the winds/downdraughts that they generate must be a hazard that was not part of the initial design. That said the AT802 was designed for strength not beauty.

David


User currently offlineBHXFAOTIPYYC From Portugal, joined Jun 2005, 1644 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (6 years 11 months 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 6492 times:

There is also a 747 that does a similar job. EVERGREEN AVIATION



Nozzles



Breakfast in BHX, lunch in FAO, dinner in TIP, baggage in YYC.
User currently offlineDvincent From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 1744 posts, RR: 10
Reply 19, posted (6 years 11 months 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 6321 times:
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I'm surprised people are concerned about the DC-10's handling in this situation. Remember, this is the same kind of plane that did barrel rolls to put a hijacker out of commission (and that plane is still flying today).


From the Mind of Minolta
User currently offlineMestrugo From Chile, joined Apr 2007, 237 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (6 years 11 months 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 6266 times:

Quoting BHXFAOTIPYYC (Reply 18):
There is also a 747 that does a similar job. EVERGREEN AVIATION

There was. I read on a recent thread that the 747 doesn't operate as a tanker anymore:

http://firebomberpublications.blogsp...supertanker-heads-into-sunset.html


User currently offlineWjcandee From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 5165 posts, RR: 22
Reply 21, posted (6 years 11 months 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 6011 times:

As to the 747, I read most recently that they may reapply for contracts in 2008, after the gov't screwed them last year, AFTER they got FAA approval and USFS carding and contract. The tanks and nozzles can be reinstalled quickly; it's designed to fly as a freighter in the offseason, as many other fire tankers do. The tanks and nozzles go back in easily; they are mounted on skids for easy installation and removal. It can fly offseason as a freighter because its tanks are INTERNAL unlike the DC10 freighter.

User currently offlineBHXFAOTIPYYC From Portugal, joined Jun 2005, 1644 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (6 years 11 months 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 5918 times:

Quoting Mestrugo (Reply 20):

Weird. Their website refers to it in the present tense, but then we all know how up to date some sites can be.



Breakfast in BHX, lunch in FAO, dinner in TIP, baggage in YYC.
User currently offlineHangarRat From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 633 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (6 years 11 months 3 days ago) and read 5589 times:

Quoting Dvincent (Reply 19):
Remember, this is the same kind of plane that did barrel rolls to put a hijacker out of commission (and that plane is still flying today).

Any more info?



Spell check is a false dog
User currently offlineDvincent From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 1744 posts, RR: 10
Reply 24, posted (6 years 11 months 3 days ago) and read 5377 times:
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Quoting HangarRat (Reply 23):

Any more info?


View Large View Medium
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Photo © Joey Collura



N306FE... Fedex flight 705 on April 7, 1994.

http://www.tailstrike.com/070494.htm



From the Mind of Minolta
25 Post contains images Riyadhnurse : Absolutely remarkable airmanship. Given all the danger,and the unstable winds present. God bless all those brave souls involved in this heroic effort,
26 Post contains images Lightsaber : The DC-10 did an amazing job in slowing many of the fires. Quite bluntly, on drop does far more in halting a flame front than 10 dispersed drops. The
27 Threepoint : I should clarify: the AT-802F was designed for a firefighting role. As is the yet-to-fly AT-1002. Smoke does not generate heat patterns, winds nor do
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