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Convert QF 743 Into A Water/fire Retardant Bomber?  
User currently offlineREALDEAL From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 7299 times:

am sure we saw photos of a 747 converted into a water/fire retardant bomber in the U.S.

Wouldn't a QF 743 be the perfect animal for this purpose ?

Surely would come in very handy right now to dump water or fire retardant on Victorian(Australia) fires ?

[Edited 2009-02-12 17:44:53]

59 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineAlessandro From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 7309 times:

Evergreen international got a few B747 waterbombers.
http://www.tucsoncitizen.com/daily/local/30782.php

[Edited 2009-02-12 17:51:46]

User currently offlineREALDEAL From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 7283 times:



Quoting Alessandro (Reply 1):
Evergreen international got a few B747 waterbombers.

they perhaps Australian govt should look at leasing 1 of these for Australian summer ?
(what would they do in northern winter or are they already working somewhere in the southern hemisphere ?)


User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 30901 posts, RR: 87
Reply 3, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 7288 times:
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They might find a home as converted freighters.

User currently offlineREALDEAL From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 7275 times:

seriously the fires in Victoria have been burning out of control for nearly a week now & surely a 747 water bomber could make a difference, ie. compared to the chopper water bombers - surely a 747 could dump something 50 times amount of water that a chopper can ???

Anyone out there have any idea how much water a 747 water bomber could carry compared to say an Elvis ?


User currently offlineTullamarine From Australia, joined Aug 1999, 1557 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 7272 times:

Aust. Govt has already stated they may look at leasing the Evergreen 747 next summer.


717,721/2,732/3/4/5/7/8/9,742/3/4,752/3,762/3,772,W,A310,320,321,332,333,388,DC9,DC10,F28,F100,142,143,E90,CR2,D82/3/4,S
User currently offlineAlessandro From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 7259 times:

20000 US gallon roughly equals 75000 litres, compared with Skycrane 9500 litres.

User currently offlineSmi0006 From Australia, joined Jan 2008, 1531 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 7102 times:



Quoting REALDEAL (Thread starter):
Wouldn't a QF 743 be the perfect animal for this purpose ?

Yes but how much would QF be willing to sell them for?

Quoting REALDEAL (Reply 4):
seriously the fires in Victoria have been burning out of control for nearly a week now & surely a 747 water bomber could make a difference, ie. compared to the chopper water bombers - surely a 747 could dump something 50 times amount of water that a chopper can ???

Whilst it may have greater capacity I would imagine that due to some of the terrain and its mountainous nature, combined with the choppers ability to do more frequent drops (admittedly smaller ones) I think the choppers would provide more flexibility and be more suited.


User currently offlineAlessandro From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 7082 times:



Quoting Smi0006 (Reply 7):
Quoting REALDEAL (Thread starter):
Wouldn't a QF 743 be the perfect animal for this purpose ?

Yes but how much would QF be willing to sell them for?

And how much would it cost for Evergreen International to convert it? How big differences on the -200 (currently converted B747) and the -300?


User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 14003 posts, RR: 62
Reply 9, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 7082 times:

I hadaclose look at this aircraft when it was passing through our airport. If not in use as water bomber it can be used as a normal freighter. In case of a fire special water containers are being loaded into the main deck and connected to the dump valves.

Jan


User currently offlineBill142 From Australia, joined Aug 2004, 8445 posts, RR: 8
Reply 10, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 6959 times:

An overhaul of forestry and conservation policy would be a more economical method. This is the second time in six years that fire has devastated communities in massive numbers (2003 Canberra Fires, 400+ homes destroyed, 4 people killed & now Victorian fires). Being 'Green' isn't always a good thing.

User currently offlineNz83 From New Zealand, joined Jan 2009, 13 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 6904 times:

While a 747 can hold alot of water it has to return to a suitable airport to refuel and replenish water. A helicopter however is able to fly to the closest water supply.

User currently offlineSydaircargo From Australia, joined Jun 2008, 242 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 6887 times:

still it would be a huge boost in moral for the people on the ground seeing the flying kangaroo
coming and dumping a huge load of water over your burning town.


User currently offlineNZ83 From New Zealand, joined Jan 2009, 13 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 6868 times:

It would be a welcome sight i'm sure. Because those fires are really terrible.

User currently offlineBramble From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days ago) and read 6801 times:



Quoting Bill142 (Reply 10):

An overhaul of forestry and conservation policy would be a more economical method.

Isn't the natural cycle for regular small fires every couple of years. But human interference has prevented this so it then flares up into huge infernoes as the dry vegatation which has acculumated over the previous years fuels the fire.


User currently offlineVhqpa From Germany, joined Jul 2005, 1456 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 6624 times:

Actually one of the QF 743 (EBX I think?) was sold to Evergreen recently.





Vhq



"There you go ladies and gentleman we're through Mach 1 the speed of sound no bumps no bangs... CONCORDE"
User currently offlineYXXMIKE From Canada, joined Apr 2008, 309 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 6542 times:



Quoting Bramble (Reply 14):
Isn't the natural cycle for regular small fires every couple of years. But human interference has prevented this so it then flares up into huge infernoes as the dry vegatation which has acculumated over the previous years fuels the fire.

This is correct, there are some places in British Columbia that during a forest fire season they will set some fires purposely as to aid nature. I'm no expert on the situation but forest fire seasons are rather tricky things as on one hand nature requires some of that nitrogen for new growth but human growth is always encroaching on new land.

A 747 tanker may seem like a good idea but I'm sure a converted Dash 8 water bomber would be more effective both for fighting fires and for cost.


User currently offlineTZTriStar500 From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 1452 posts, RR: 9
Reply 17, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 6458 times:



Quoting Alessandro (Reply 8):
And how much would it cost for Evergreen International to convert it? How big differences on the -200 (currently converted B747) and the -300?

Evergreen owns the STC and it is applicable to the -100 and -200C only at this point. The current aircraft is no longer a -200C, but a -132 (N479EV, Tanker 979). This is the redesigned version to be able to handle a full retardant load and is a permanent modification. The plan is to convert older -100Fs that are nearing the end of their service lives to be used solely for tanker use. Tanker 979 is currently undergoing some USFS testing to get a contract for the 2009 season. Several more may converted if a contract is received, but a conversion takes at least 9-12 months. Tanker 947 (N470EV) was the original design and is no longer a tanker as it has been de-converted back to a freighter.

A -300 could be converted, but the biggest obstacle is that the aircraft must already be a freighter with a large door to accommodate the installation of the equipment. A pax configuration 747 could not be converted to a tanker unless first converted to freighter.

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 9):
I hadaclose look at this aircraft when it was passing through our airport. If not in use as water bomber it can be used as a normal freighter. In case of a fire special water containers are being loaded into the main deck and connected to the dump valves.

You almost surely saw N470EV (ex-Tanker 947) after it was de-converted from a tanker. This aircraft is not planned to ever be converted back to a tanker configuration.

Quoting Vhqpa (Reply 15):
Actually one of the QF 743 (EBX I think?) was sold to Evergreen recently.

It was not for this purpose.


If you are wondering why I know all this, I work for the engineering design firm that redesigned and integrated the new system in Tanker 979 and obtained the amended STC.



35 years of American Trans Air/ATA Airlines, 1973-2008. A great little airline that will not be soon forgotten.
User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 30901 posts, RR: 87
Reply 18, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 6407 times:
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Quoting TZTriStar500 (Reply 17):
A -300 could be converted, but the biggest obstacle is that the aircraft must already be a freighter with a large door to accommodate the installation of the equipment. A pax configuration 747 could not be converted to a tanker unless first converted to freighter.

So they just require the side door? There is no requirement to load equipment through a nose door (due to length)?


User currently offlineTZTriStar500 From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 1452 posts, RR: 9
Reply 19, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 6343 times:



Quoting Stitch (Reply 18):
So they just require the side door? There is no requirement to load equipment through a nose door (due to length)

Yes, only a side door would needed as the tanks, cradles, etc, are much too large when put together to fit through a pax door.



35 years of American Trans Air/ATA Airlines, 1973-2008. A great little airline that will not be soon forgotten.
User currently offlineStealthZ From Australia, joined Feb 2005, 5691 posts, RR: 44
Reply 20, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 5766 times:
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Quoting Alessandro (Reply 6):
20000 US gallon roughly equals 75000 litres, compared with Skycrane 9500 litres.

So the 747 bomber can lumber in and drop a devastating 8 times the load of a CH-64 and lumber off to one of Australia's few 747 capable airports.. possibly hours away where miraculously there is the infrastructure to quickly load another 75 tonnes of water/retardant and return on another mission of destruction.

In this time a single CH-64 has drained how many pools/ponds/dams/rivers etc and delivered how many precision loads?



If your camera sends text messages, that could explain why your photos are rubbish!
User currently offlineA342 From Germany, joined Jul 2005, 4681 posts, RR: 3
Reply 21, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 5660 times:



Quoting Stitch (Reply 3):
They might find a home as converted freighters.

Definitely not. In these times, when airlines are temporarily parking 744Fs, not a chance.

Quoting TZTriStar500 (Reply 19):
Yes, only a side door would needed as the tanks, cradles, etc, are much too large when put together to fit through a pax door.

But if the aircraft is to be used as a tanker permanently, why not convert most of the cargo hold to water tanks? There should be a possibility without a SCD.



Exceptions confirm the rule.
User currently offlineREALDEAL From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 5631 times:



Quoting Tullamarine (Reply 5):

Aust. Govt has already stated they may look at leasing the Evergreen 747 next summer.

obviously pin pointing drop zone might be a bit more difficult with a 747 than a chopper, but surely 1 dump could soak a large area.

just found this FAQ page ...

http://www.evergreenaviation.com/supertanker/faq.html

Quoting Bill142 (Reply 10):
An overhaul of forestry and conservation policy would be a more economical method. This is the second time in six years that fire has devastated communities in massive numbers (2003 Canberra Fires, 400+ homes destroyed, 4 people killed & now Victorian fires). Being 'Green' isn't always a good thing.

case on TV yesterday of a guy who cleared 100m or so around his house as a fire break (on his own land) & was then fined AUD$50K for doing so.

His house survived, his neighbours didn't.

Now he wants his $50K back. Hopefully he'lll make a big song & dance about it.

The EPA in OZ should be called JPA(job protection agency) just like in the U.S. as they have very little to do with protecting the environment.


User currently offlineABpositive From Australia, joined Nov 2005, 226 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 5555 times:

Aerial fire fighting is effective only if it's VERY accurate. It is used helpful in early detection and ground crew support. I don't think B747 can fulfill any of these requirements and the money spent would go much further if spent on ground equipment.
This link is from Australia Fire and Emergency Service Authority and has a lot of relevant information:

The effectiveness and efficiency of aerial fire fighting in Australia


User currently offlineNcelhr From Vatican City, joined Jul 2006, 358 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 5359 times:

IMHO the best water bomber out there is the Canadair/Bombardier CL-415 Superscooper.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canadair_CL-415

I've seen them in action in Italy and the South of France and they are slow enough to drop over 6000 litres of water+retardant with good accuracy whilst only taking 15 seconds to fill up by scooping it from the sea or a lake.

In the South of France they use three or four in rotation on a fire at a time and believe me, they will kill the fire in a few hours. Their advantage over larger aircraft is better accuracy & filling up speed (no need to land to fill-up). their advantage over choppers is filling up speed, but also the velocity of the water as it hits the ground - it produces a local flame-out. Overall, they're also cheap to run.

I have read that the Australian Government considered purchasing some (or leasing some from Bombardier) and don't know whether that happened or not. The investment is well worth it.


25 Ikramerica : They are both important. We hear a lot about this in souther california due to our fires. Basically, the helicopter is more flexible and can hit spot
26 Pyrex : With the effect of basically leveling your burning town wunder a massive wall of water. I worked with firefighters who have used the Beriev jet amphi
27 Zkpilot : Both of you seem to be a little confused here I think... In a 747 the current VIC forest fires are all of about 10-30mins flight time from MEL!!! 30m
28 Cpd : Oh for goodness sakes, this is a load of crock. Every time a fire happens, it's always the green movement that cops the blame, regardless of the actu
29 StealthZ : ZKpilot, Let's assume all the fires are close to MEL or SYD and let's assume with ATC etc that each leg is 30 minutes, 30-45 minutes on the ground + s
30 S5LineATL : The evergreen 747 still has not gotten approval from the FAA or the US Forest Service. The aircraft has not been given a certificate to operate as an
31 Zkpilot : The longest leg from SYD or MEL is likely to be 30mins! Most would be more like 15 mins... So you are looking at a round trip (including ground time)
32 Spacepope : And he had the nerve to suggest using the MAFFS system for C-130s, which would have roughly double the transit time. They'd be quicker to refill, but
33 Tayser : don't forget AVV as a potential base for it - nice big long runway, right next to Port Phillip and not far from the water treatment plants out west as
34 Cpd : So, can you tell us where we can find this mythical "Australian EPA" if it exists? I know there are multiple state agencies, but the Australian one i
35 Post contains links Tayser : EPA VIC: www.epa.vic.gov.au
36 StealthZ : Where did you get that number? Comparing the 747 to a Jetranger with a bambi bucket perhaps. The 747 as demonstrated carried 75,000 litres, slightly
37 Alessandro : Be-200 is faster and can take onboard more water than the CL-415.
38 Alessandro : So you reckon saltwater is a big no-no? Murray river system is nearby.
39 TZTriStar500 : Because using the floor loading capability of the main deck is the only efficient way to fully utilize the structural payload of the aircraft. The ca
40 Spacepope : I reckon that the average aussie with their house on fire doesn't care if it's salt or fresh. Ash in the river is just as bad anyway, and will end up
41 Alessandro : Yes, but the landowners whom you salt the ground for maybe care if the wind suddenly turns and fire take a different route. Yes, sudden PH drop isn´
42 A342 : Shouldn't there be enough volume? IIRC the 747 lower deck cargo holds can take ca. 170 m³. But I do get the floor loading argument. Still wondering
43 TZTriStar500 : Since this is a pressurized system, it takes up nearly the entire main deck. We are talking about 10 52"/62" pressurized retardant tanks plus 8 air p
44 Post contains links and images A342 : Thanks for the answer. The Be-200 does: The small tanks on the main deck are used for chemical retardants, while the water is in the lower deck tanks
45 Ncelhr : I don't have experience with the Be-200 but I'm sure it's also a very good firebomber. IMHO, both are more accurate than larger aircraft and easier t
46 Threepoint : By "a few" do you mean one? Read the first sentence of your link. Hopefully the Australian taxpayer is smarter and will pressure their government for
47 Zkpilot : MEL busy? HA! hahaha! These ops would not be happening that often (just during the bushfire season). MEL has 2 runways so provided the winds aren't a
48 TZTriStar500 : Correct. I should have been specific about ground-based air tankers. Yes, the amphibious based examples do use the lower holds, but in these designs
49 Threepoint : "Provided the winds aren't a problem" - what do you think the winds willl be doing on the more severe bushfire days? Think about it. Unscheduled airt
50 TZTriStar500 : Well there is no way you have seen the latest design iteration which was specifically to make it more effective because its going through testing now
51 FX1816 : Sorry but that was not their fault. Also you claim that the DC-10 Tanker is not well accepted but if that's true then why in the past year did they g
52 Zkpilot : There are many airports around the world that operate with both runways at the same time that are intersecting. My comment regarding the wind relates
53 Leezyjet : There must be a way to use a different design of tank that would fit in through the passenger doors ? Of course it would take longer to load and fit
54 Spacepope : Speaking as a geologist here: it depends. The soil itself may or may not have a high salinity level. to begin with due to underlying rock and groundw
55 Threepoint : This is true - I have not yet seen the newest iteration. I can only hope it is one quantum leap of improvement over the last one. I hate to condemn f
56 Jbernie : I would expect that the benefit of the 747 is that in one drop you can provide a massive amount of water in one area to really slow things down, with
57 Threepoint : Some interesting points, but may I point out a few issues that have been considered at length in Australia and other fire-prone nations. No aircraft,
58 Post contains links Jbernie : Absolutely, but a plane able to carry as much as water as the 747 can be very desirable to place alot of water/retardent on a major flare up when res
59 Threepoint : As I mentioned in the previous post, aerial fire suppression should never be used unless followed by quick and decisive ground support. No aircraft e
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