Mr Spaceman
Topic Author
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Tanks Beside An A-10. What's Their Purpose

Sat May 24, 2003 4:05 am

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



Thanks,

Chris  Smile
"Just a minute while I re-invent myself"
 
bhill
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Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2001 8:28 am

RE: Tanks Beside An A-10. What's Their Purpose

Sat May 24, 2003 5:32 am

I believe that they are foam generators for fire fighting.

Cheers
Carpe Pices
 
Mr Spaceman
Topic Author
Posts: 2723
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2001 5:09 am

RE: Tanks Beside An A-10. What's Their Purpose

Sat May 24, 2003 6:59 am

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"
 
JohnM
Posts: 381
Joined: Sat Feb 24, 2001 12:35 pm

RE: Tanks Beside An A-10. What's Their Purpose

Sat May 24, 2003 11:57 am

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!
 
pacificjourney
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RE: Tanks Beside An A-10. What's Their Purpose

Sat May 24, 2003 1:02 pm

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 ... "
 
galaxy5
Posts: 1952
Joined: Sat Mar 18, 2000 10:09 pm

RE: Tanks Beside An A-10. What's Their Purpose

Sat May 24, 2003 8:11 pm

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
 
jwenting
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Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2001 10:12 pm

RE: Tanks Beside An A-10. What's Their Purpose

Sat May 24, 2003 9:39 pm

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
 
Mr Spaceman
Topic Author
Posts: 2723
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2001 5:09 am

RE: Tanks Beside An A-10. What's Their Purpose

Sun May 25, 2003 3:29 am

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"
 
AAR90
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Joined: Fri Jan 21, 2000 11:51 am

RE: Tanks Beside An A-10. What's Their Purpose

Wed May 28, 2003 1:26 pm

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!
 
saintsman
Posts: 2037
Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2002 12:34 am

RE: Tanks Beside An A-10. What's Their Purpose

Wed May 28, 2003 4:26 pm

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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