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Tanks Beside An A-10. What's Their Purpose  
User currently offlineMr Spaceman From Canada, joined Mar 2001, 2787 posts, RR: 8
Posted (13 years 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 3835 times:

Hi guys.

I have a question about this photo of an A-10 Thunderbolt II.

What are the 2 mobile tanks with their hoses that are on the carts used for?

There's one on each side of this A-10. I'm used to seeing Ground Power Units (GPU's) on a ramp beside aircraft, but I don't believe I've ever seen a pair of metal tanks before. What's their purpose?

Could they be filled with nitrogen for the A-10's tires?

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Photo © John Higgins


Chris  Smile

"Just a minute while I re-invent myself"
9 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineBhill From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 1318 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (13 years 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 3768 times:

I believe that they are foam generators for fire fighting.


Carpe Pices
User currently offlineMr Spaceman From Canada, joined Mar 2001, 2787 posts, RR: 8
Reply 2, posted (13 years 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 3785 times:

Hello Bhill.

It sounds like you are correct sir. Big grin

An hour ago I received an email from a fellow named Mike. He stated that the tanks were Aircraft Fire Extinguishers (Firebottles).

So I replied to him and said his answer made perfect sense to me, incase the A-10 experienced a hot start on either engine which then caused a fire.

Question ....... How do "foam Generators" work? Does a chemical reaction occur in the tanks which creates a lot of foam? Also, how far can these foam generators spray? It sounds like pretty interesting stuff is going on in those tanks!

Chris  Smile

"Just a minute while I re-invent myself"
User currently offlineJohnM From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 375 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (13 years 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 3721 times:

Yes they are indeed fire extinguishers. It is standard AF procedure to have a bottle (or bottles) with any parked airplane. The fire fighting agent is pressurized with nitrogen over the agent, and pushes the agent out when the hose is charged and nozzle opened. The stuff used to be CB, some sort of nasty toxic crap. Then it changed to halon. That went away due to the greenhouse gas isssue. I really don't know what the stuff is now. I think it is a non greenhouse halon type of agent. You have about 30 seconds of flow time per bottle. If used correctly, can put out a lot of fire. They are always a good thing to hang a shirt, lean on, etc. I always take time to read the grafitti that is written on each one, some bottles have some extensive world travels! Also if you don't get caught, can be used as a field expedient step ladder. There is your useless facts for today!

User currently offlinePacificjourney From New Zealand, joined Jul 2001, 2741 posts, RR: 7
Reply 4, posted (13 years 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 3719 times:

I'm no expert but shouldn't they be a lot further away from the plane. In a fuel fire you couldn't get to them !

" Help, help ... I'm being oppressed ... "
User currently offlineGalaxy5 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 2034 posts, RR: 23
Reply 5, posted (13 years 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 3565 times:

Those are Halon 1211 fire bottles, not foam generators. And they appear to be positioned at each wingtip which is a suitable location for them.

"damn, I didnt know prince could Ball like that" - Charlie Murphy
User currently offlineJwenting From Netherlands, joined Apr 2001, 10213 posts, RR: 17
Reply 6, posted (13 years 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 3534 times:

To add to that: halon extinguishers are next to useless (maybe even worse than useless) for fighting a burning pool of fuel.

I wish I were flying
User currently offlineMr spaceman From Canada, joined Mar 2001, 2787 posts, RR: 8
Reply 7, posted (13 years 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 3432 times:

Hello gentlemen.

Thanks for your replies.

OK, so those tanks are Halon 1211 fire bottles, not foam generators, and they're in the proper position at each wingtip for extinguishing an engine fire.

Also, they are worse than useless for fighting a burning pool of fuel!

>> JohnM, Thanks for your informative & interesting, yet, useless facts for today! Big grin

Take Care guys,

Chris  Smile

"Just a minute while I re-invent myself"
User currently offlineAAR90 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 3587 posts, RR: 44
Reply 8, posted (13 years 20 hours ago) and read 3073 times:

To add to that: halon extinguishers are next to useless (maybe even worse than useless) for fighting a burning pool of fuel.

Probably because they're used to protect crewmember(s) exiting a burning aircraft. At least that was what we used to teach new line crewmen to use the halon bottles for in the USN.

*NO CARRIER* -- A Naval Aviator's worst nightmare!
User currently offlineSaintsman From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2002, 2065 posts, RR: 2
Reply 9, posted (13 years 17 hours ago) and read 3153 times:

The most common fire extinguishers that I have used on aircraft are carbon dioxide, followed by Halon. You would not want to use foam due to the mess it makes.

The only aircraft fires I have come across have been electrical (so you wouldn't want foam anyway), starter motor type where they have burnt out (CO2 or halon) and brake fires where you use dry powder (also messy but you don't want to use cold gas or liquid on a red hot brake due to the risk of it exploding).

We're also only talking about small fires. The fire sevices deal with big fires.

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