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ID Fire Bomber Over Colorado Fire  
User currently offlinerampart From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 3109 posts, RR: 6
Posted (2 years 1 month 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 5961 times:

Hi all
I've been watching coverage of a new forest fire that's threatening my home-town in Colorado. Local news coverage has been great, and appreciated. They've shown remarkable footage of live firebombing by helicopter, a cropduster, and this plane. Can anyone help me identify it, and its operator. I'm guessing it's a Convair of some sort, but don't know how to tell the differences between the models. Or it could be a YS-11? I think it says "ConAir" on the fuselage.

Apologies for the quality of the image. I took a screen shot from the live internet feed from the local TV station, KOAA-TV. (http://www1.koaa.com/pages/live-stream-test-2/ )

Appreciate your input.

-Rampart
(the fire is burning the mountains from which I took my Anet name)



47 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineSpacepope From Vatican City, joined Dec 1999, 2901 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (2 years 1 month 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 5919 times:

It's a CV-580. We've had 4 over COS today with our fire, tankers 42, 44, 471 and 474. The first two are from Conair, the second are from Saskatchewan.

Tanker 45 should be C-FEKF
http://www.flickr.com/photos/32145601@N05/7396748610


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Photo © Brodie Winkler - Hornet Hunter



Edit: correction, that makes it 5. They're flying out of the Air Force Academy.

[Edited 2012-06-24 17:52:52]


The last of the famous international playboys
User currently offlineB6JFKH81 From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 2878 posts, RR: 7
Reply 2, posted (2 years 1 month 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 5785 times:

Is this beauty going to be helping?


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Photo © Ryotaro Shinozaki




"If you do not learn from history, you are doomed to repeat it"
User currently offlineSpacepope From Vatican City, joined Dec 1999, 2901 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (2 years 1 month 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 5689 times:

Quoting B6JFKH81 (Reply 2):
Is this beauty going to be helping?

Not a chance in hell.

The C-130s from Peterson and Cheyenne will be starting tomorrow though.



The last of the famous international playboys
User currently offlineN766UA From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 8193 posts, RR: 24
Reply 4, posted (2 years 1 month 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 5684 times:

It's a Convair 580 from the Canadian "Conair." At least one other, C-FFKF, is also in Colorado and last seen spending the night at BJC.

[Edited 2012-06-24 20:31:22]


This Website Censors Me
User currently offlineykaops From Canada, joined Nov 2010, 68 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (2 years 1 month 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 5551 times:

Wonder if they'll bring in this bad boy....

The Mighty Hawaii Mars water bomber


User currently offlineStudeDave From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 486 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (2 years 1 month 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 5518 times:

You'll find more then a few pictures of ConAir (and others) here~

http://warbirdinformationexchange.org/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=46080




StudeDave



Classic planes, Classic trains, and Studebakers~~ what else is there???
User currently offlinerampart From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 3109 posts, RR: 6
Reply 7, posted (2 years 1 month 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 5504 times:

Quoting N766UA (Reply 4):
It's a Convair 580 from the Canadian "Conair
Quoting Spacepope (Reply 1):
It's a CV-580.

Thanks!

I can see the larger/longer turboprop engines (with 4-blade props) make them recognizable over the 240/340/440 piston engines. Is there an easy way to recognize the difference between a 580, 600, or 640?

Quoting ykaops (Reply 5):
Wonder if they'll bring in this bad boy....

I can't imagine a body of water in Colorado large enough to allow it to take off!

Quoting Spacepope (Reply 3):
Is this beauty going to be helping?
Not a chance in hell.

I assume because of the confined terrain?

Quoting Spacepope (Reply 3):

The C-130s from Peterson and Cheyenne will be starting tomorrow though.

By Cheyenne, do you mean the ANG base at CYS?
Interesting that the current fire aerial support is based out of that AFA airfield (KAFF). Helps with proximity. But I've never seen anything bigger than a Twin Otter fly out of it; the runways are less than 4500' and no more than 75' wide.

-Rampart


User currently offlineSpacepope From Vatican City, joined Dec 1999, 2901 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (2 years 1 month 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 5297 times:

Quoting rampart (Reply 7):
I assume because of the confined terrain?

No, because the USFS isn't using that anymore. Last I saw it was parked without engines at MZJ

Quoting rampart (Reply 7):
By Cheyenne, do you mean the ANG base at CYS?

Yep, those are the guys. It's sad it's already taken 48 hours for DoD clearance.

I'm about 4 mikes south of KAFF, and I was getting quite a show yesterday afternoon, with the lead plan (Looked like a queen air) leading the tankers in one after another. There was also several Air Tractor SEATs, a Kmax, and an aerocommander which looks like it was just monitoring from a much higher altitude than the tankers.



The last of the famous international playboys
User currently offlinerampart From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 3109 posts, RR: 6
Reply 9, posted (2 years 1 month 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 5240 times:

Quoting Spacepope (Reply 8):
I was getting quite a show yesterday afternoon,

No kidding! Must have been something to see. For a while, KOAA was showing numerous minutes of air-to-air footage, taken from one of the observer planes or helicopters, I presume. The CV-580 wheeling around then dropping slurry, the huge S-64 maneuvering, all amazing to watch. I saw some of this up close when I was involved with the Hayman fire 10 years ago. The dangers are sobering.

-Rampart


User currently offlineADent From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 1359 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (2 years 1 month 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 5121 times:

Quoting rampart (Reply 7):
I can't imagine a body of water in Colorado large enough to allow it to take off!

Not natural. But there are several large reservoirs that would be big enough - well over a mile long. How much space do they need?

Quoting B6JFKH81 (Reply 2):
Is this beauty going to be helping?

She isn't on the USFS approved fire-tanker list. So unless somebody else hires here (say the state), she isn't going to help.


User currently offlinerampart From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 3109 posts, RR: 6
Reply 11, posted (2 years 1 month 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 4963 times:

Quoting ADent (Reply 10):
Not natural. But there are several large reservoirs that would be big enough - well over a mile long. How much space do they need?

Yes, but some distance away from the fire, and I was wondering how shallow these might be. Maybe Eleven Mile Resrvoir if taking off in the right direction. Have no idea how much lake a fully laden Mars would need to take off. I've seen videos, seems to be a lumbering beast. Awesome, though!


User currently offlineFX1816 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 1400 posts, RR: 4
Reply 12, posted (2 years 1 month 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 4893 times:

Quoting Spacepope (Reply 8):
Quoting rampart (Reply 7):I assume because of the confined terrain?
No, because the USFS isn't using that anymore. Last I saw it was parked without engines at MZJ

Actually that photo is of 947 which was the original one, 979 is the second one and it is parked at MZJ.

FX1816


User currently offlinespiritair97 From United States of America, joined Jan 2011, 1231 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (2 years 1 month 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 4814 times:

Quoting B6JFKH81 (Reply 2):
Is this beauty going to be helping?


View Large View Medium

Photo © Ryotaro Shinozaki




Isn't that beauty retired?


User currently offlineSpacepope From Vatican City, joined Dec 1999, 2901 posts, RR: 1
Reply 14, posted (2 years 1 month 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 4791 times:

Quoting rampart (Reply 11):
Maybe Eleven Mile Resrvoir if taking off in the right direction. Have no idea how much lake a fully laden Mars would need to take off. I've seen videos, seems to be a lumbering beast. Awesome, though!

Eleven Mile is at 8575 feet. A Mars would have to rely on the proverbial curvature of the earth operating from there.



The last of the famous international playboys
User currently offlinerampart From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 3109 posts, RR: 6
Reply 15, posted (2 years 1 month 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 4515 times:

Quoting Spacepope (Reply 8):

I'm about 4 mikes south of KAFF, and I was getting quite a show yesterday afternoon

Everyone on A.net, Spacepope's note above from a few days ago indicates that he is in the evacuation area on the northwestern quarter of Colorado Springs, the fire took a terrible turn for the worse yesterday and started intruding on, and burning, residential areas. I appreciate his information, and hope everyone here on A.net can wish him well.

The Air Force Academy has also started mandatory evacuations; and the smoke is awful. I'm assuming the fire bombing staging will be moving from AFF, on Academy property, to elsewhere. That could be Fort Carson (FCS) or COS, not sure. I've not heard whether regular airline operations at COS have been impacted because of visibility (or fire fighting operations).

-Rampart


User currently offlinethreepoint From Canada, joined Oct 2005, 2129 posts, RR: 9
Reply 16, posted (2 years 1 month 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 4328 times:

Quoting Spacepope (Reply 1):
Edit: correction, that makes it 5. They're flying out of the Air Force Academy.

No they're not. Three Convair 580s from BC are based at Rocky Mountain Metro and the two 580s from Saskatchewan are based in Grand Junction. They reload retardant for the Waldo fire (just west of Colorado Springs) at Metro and in Pueblo.

Quoting rampart (Reply 7):
I assume because of the confined terrain?

No, even if the 747 were operational, it is not a suitable airtanker platform and the pressurized retardant-delivery system (much like the MAFFS units aboard the C-130s) are notorious for giving poor and ineffective coverage levels on the ground.

Quoting Spacepope (Reply 8):
the lead plan (Looked like a queen air) leading the tankers in one after another.

The USFS uses King Air 90s as lead plane platforms. The groups from BC and Saskatchewan use Rockwell Turbo Commander 690s as the birddog (same as the lead plane).

Quoting rampart (Reply 9):
dropping slurry

Dropping retardant. The word 'slurry' fell out of favour sometime in the 1940s.

Quoting ADent (Reply 10):
But there are several large reservoirs that would be big enough - well over a mile long. How much space do they need?

Allow 5000' linear feet at sea level. A Mars with operational fuel will start scooping approx 4600 US galons, and as the fuel burns off, will increase its payload top approx 5600 US gallons. It has a 70000 USG capacity in theory, but that's without fuel and a few helium balloons affixed to the wings to provide added lift.

Quoting rampart (Reply 11):
Have no idea how much lake a fully laden Mars would need to take off. I've seen videos, seems to be a lumbering beast.

It is at sea level, never mind the extreme density altitudes we're seeing in Colorado at over 5500' valley bottom elevation and temps in the upper 30s Celsius.



The nice thing about a mistake is the pleasure it gives others.
User currently offlinethreepoint From Canada, joined Oct 2005, 2129 posts, RR: 9
Reply 17, posted (2 years 1 month 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 4323 times:

Quoting rampart (Thread starter):
Can anyone help me identify it, and its operator.

I can identify the plane, the operator, the names of the pilots and the flavour of ice cream they bought the base staff as a price for appearing live on the news.



The nice thing about a mistake is the pleasure it gives others.
User currently offlineBA From United States of America, joined May 2000, 11153 posts, RR: 59
Reply 18, posted (2 years 1 month 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 4267 times:

Why don't they charter some Beriev BE-200s? They can scoop water from Colorado's many reservoirs.


"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
User currently offlinethreepoint From Canada, joined Oct 2005, 2129 posts, RR: 9
Reply 19, posted (2 years 1 month 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 4202 times:

Quoting BA (Reply 18):
Why don't they charter some Beriev BE-200s? They can scoop water from Colorado's many reservoirs.

1. The Beriev doesn't have a certificate of airworthiness in North America. It can not fly for hire.
2. The performance of the Beriev (or any other water scooper) would be severely degraded in the high elevation/high temps of Colorado at the moment. There are few suitable (long enough) water reservoirs near the High Park, Waldo or Boulder fires.
3. A water or water/foam mix would be next to useless in the single-digit relative humidities in the state now. The effectiveness of a suppressant would be measured in a couple of minutes at best; even 3 or 4 airplanes couldn't possibly perform quick enough turnaround times to make any headway.



The nice thing about a mistake is the pleasure it gives others.
User currently offlinethreepoint From Canada, joined Oct 2005, 2129 posts, RR: 9
Reply 20, posted (2 years 1 month 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 4193 times:

Quoting ykaops (Reply 5):
Wonder if they'll bring in this bad boy....
The Mighty Hawaii Mars water bomber

That's actually the Phillippine Mars. The Hawaii Mars has bottom-mounted doors, not side-dumping.



The nice thing about a mistake is the pleasure it gives others.
User currently offlineBA From United States of America, joined May 2000, 11153 posts, RR: 59
Reply 21, posted (2 years 1 month 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 4163 times:

Quoting threepoint (Reply 19):
1. The Beriev doesn't have a certificate of airworthiness in North America. It can not fly for hire.

Given the nature of this emergency, I am sure the FAA would provide an exemption if this unique aircraft was deemed a valuable asset in putting out these fires.

Looks like certification may be coming anyway:
http://www.flightglobal.com/news/art...s-bid-for-us-certification-373254/

Quoting threepoint (Reply 19):
2. The performance of the Beriev (or any other water scooper) would be severely degraded in the high elevation/high temps of Colorado at the moment. There are few suitable (long enough) water reservoirs near the High Park, Waldo or Boulder fires.

The BE-200 has a high aspect ratio high lift wing making it ideal for hot and high environments. There are numerous videos online that shows its impressive take off performance.

As for reservoirs, right next to the High Park fire is Horsetooth Reservoir which is long making it ideal for scooping water.

Quoting threepoint (Reply 19):
3. A water or water/foam mix would be next to useless in the single-digit relative humidities in the state now. The effectiveness of a suppressant would be measured in a couple of minutes at best; even 3 or 4 airplanes couldn't possibly perform quick enough turnaround times to make any headway.

The BE-200 has tanks to carry chemical retardants.



"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
User currently offlinethreepoint From Canada, joined Oct 2005, 2129 posts, RR: 9
Reply 22, posted (2 years 1 month 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 4103 times:

Quoting BA (Reply 21):
Given the nature of this emergency, I am sure the FAA would provide an exemption if this unique aircraft was deemed a valuable asset in putting out these fires.

Nonsense. They wouldn't. And the USFS is evidently not desperate for more aircraft; there are plenty available for export in North America that haven't been hired.

Quoting BA (Reply 21):
As for reservoirs, right next to the High Park fire is Horsetooth Reservoir which is long making it ideal for scooping water.

I thought about mentioning the Horsetooth but didn't. On purpose. It may have been suitable for one fire at one instance in time but as I mentioned, the product the Beriev or any other scooper would carry (water & foam) would have had next to no effect on the HIgh Park fire. Personally, i would have imported and used an amphib fleet of 4 x CL-215Ts or 6 x AT-802s..either option would outperform a pair of BE-200s.

Quoting BA (Reply 21):
The BE-200 has tanks to carry chemical retardants.

But so do all the other airtankers, all of which are certified and legal to fly commercially in the United States.

The answer to the Colorado fires, or any other fire bust scenario, isn't "more and/or bigger airplanes". With fire behaviour as witnessed in the state the past couple of weeks, all the airtankers on the planet would not have put out or appreciably slowed the fires when at their most aggressive. There are a number of systemic flaws in the way aerial firefighting resources are employed and managed in the US. The answers to many of the long-standing problems lie in the models used in other jurisdictions, but the political will & desire to look elsewhere for improvements does not yet exist. Perhaps it's a pride thing. The tug of war between competing land managers makes seamless integration of aircraft near-impossible until they get together and decide to simplify the existing system. In the meantime, the US and fire managers rely on help from other countries and cringe as governors bow to public pressure and call up comically inefficient and grotesquely expensive resources (I'm talkin' to you C-130) while they ponder what else to do. The recent announcement of so-called next generation (read: jet-powered) airtankers will not solve the problem. The issue at hand is not the type of airplanes they're using - with some exceptions - but rather the manner in which they assign & manage these resources strategically on a federal level and tactically once overhead the fire.



The nice thing about a mistake is the pleasure it gives others.
User currently offlinewoodsboy From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 1029 posts, RR: 3
Reply 23, posted (2 years 1 month 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 4081 times:

The USFS decided a few years ago to discontinue using the older piston engined tankers after those accidents, most notably the NOT piston engined Herc accident in California and the Privateer accident in Colorado. They were very fast in suspending the use of most privately available airplanes with absolutely no plan on how to take up that slack. Many of those now unused aircraft were in perfectly flyable condition and as we all know, if properly maintained even old planes are safe. Now the USFS is limited to calling in the Canadians or waiting till the States find a situation serious enough to ante up the $$ for the Evergreen 747 or the DC-10 tanker. Up here in Alaska we have used the Airspray Orions, the Evergreen tanker on occassion and routinely have the Candian CL-215s and 415s from Environment Canada and the Government of Saskatchewan. Gone are the days when we saw the Privateer but ConAir's DC-6 has been used fairly recently and thier CV 580s are here every summer. If the USFS thinks there is a suitable next generation of jet aircraft that can take on the role previously filled by DC-6s, DC-4s, Neptunes, CV-580s and the like, they are dreaming! Unless they have a secret plan to get some purpose designed and built Beriev BE-200s online in the next few years they are going to find themselves fighting future fires with AgCats carrying 5 gallon jugs of water.

User currently offlineBA From United States of America, joined May 2000, 11153 posts, RR: 59
Reply 24, posted (2 years 1 month 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 4055 times:

Quoting threepoint (Reply 22):
Nonsense. They wouldn't. And the USAF Argentina">FS is evidently not desperate for more aircraft; there are plenty available for export in North America that haven't been hired.

The U.S. Forest Service has a shortage of aerial tankers that currently stands at 11 aircraft, down from 44 in 2002. If they didn't have a shortage, they would not have just called in four USAF C-130s to help combat the fires:

http://www.denverpost.com/recommended/ci_20937378

That said, my earlier point is that if the BE-200 is deemed more capable at fighting fires than USAF C-130s, and the case was made to the FAA, they could grant a temporary exemption to allow them to be hired to fight these fires.

The BE-200 has peaked the interest of the USAF Argentina">FS, or else they would not have sent a team last month to Russia to assess its capabilities:

http://fireplanes.wordpress.com/2012/05/02/be-200-usfs-testing-update/

Russia's BE-200s have been hired by Greece, Israel, Indonesia and Portugal to fight some very big wildfires over the past couple years. That to me is a testament to the aircraft's capabilities.



"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
25 threepoint : Yes. Too many people judge airplanes by age in years and not component, airframe or cycle life. There is a huge difference: you can have an airplane
26 Spacepope : Thanks for the note. We evacuated all the way to Kansas CIty yesterday. I'm not sure we still have a house. We're all safe. The MAFFS C-130s and Skyc
27 rampart : Thanks for checking in. Glad you are safe in KC, I can only hope your home is OK. From what I could see, there was some hit an miss, so perhaps some
28 tp1040 : Hope all are safe. From the linked story, the C-130's cost about 6600 and hour to fly. I wonder hour much money it costs per hour to have numerous gov
29 rampart : This is an issue that needs attention immediately. 10 years ago it needed attention. Although on this fire, there appears to be good cooperation betw
30 N766UA : That photo doesn't even do it justice. That's a long stretch of water.
31 spiritair97 : Oh God. Hope you and your family stay safe and, as already stated, hope your home does, too. I'll be keeping you and everybody out there in my prayer
32 atcgod : The DC-10 was sitting in Boise as of a few days ago.
33 threepoint : The flying hours are reasonable (although a private contractor can operate a similar-capacity airtanker for half the amount). Where the costs become
34 cbphoto : I seriously think the USFS needs to address the issue of the heavy tanker program. Their was another thread that we discussed this in depth, but as h
35 ADent : I think everyone in the country agrees with the statement. Unfortunately the position we are in today is due to a decade of the USFS addressing the i
36 Post contains images ak : So are we to call them "Retardant Applicators" now? [Edited 2012-06-29 10:31:23]
37 threepoint : You can be facetious I guess - go for it. But it's not slurry, and they're not bombers. Just sayin'.
38 rampart : We understand the accurate terminology used by professionals, thanks. But, there is also common usage by the non-professionals that, while not accura
39 Alasizon : I do know that the USFS is requesting, unofficially on a mutual aid basis, more resources from agencies within the US. VCFD (Ventura County Fire Depar
40 threepoint : Except, as I said, it is wrong. A slurry is a powdered solid in a liquid carrier. The retardant in use today (save for some older stocks in certain p
41 cbphoto : Guessing it's a Guard C130 that was called into service? Either way, it's sad and shows just how inherently dangerous the tanker operation is!
42 cbphoto : It looks like the USAF has grounded all of their C-130 Air Tankers in response to the crash that occurred in SD! Still more challenges that face the e
43 Post contains links widebody : http://fireplanes.wordpress.com/2012...tement-concerning-the-supertanker/ Evergreen statement on supertanker use or lack thereof. Going on the offensi
44 threepoint : I wish they would listen to an outside opinion. There are quick ways to resolve the challenges with a minimum of cost. I do not foresee any meaningfu
45 Spacepope : Finally was able to return home today. The house made it. Everyone is safe. I was sure for a few days it was toast, but it seems it burned to within
46 spiritair97 : Thank God for that. Glad you all are safe and hope that recovery around you isn't too bad.
47 rampart : Yes, glad your home survived! Best wishes for your neighbors. -Rampart
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