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aemoreira1981
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Another wide-body firefighting supertanker?

Tue Aug 27, 2019 8:26 pm

With the fire in the Amazon, the lone Boeing 747 SuperTanker (which contains firefighting equipment taken out of an older firefighting tanker) was dispatched to VVI for firefighting activities. The other four firefighting tankers are four DC-10-30 frames (the original DC-10 tanker, a DC-10-10, was retired in 2015). These frames cannot fly forever though and will eventually need replacement...tanker 911 is significantly older than the rest, being built in 1975, while the others are near end-of-the-line DC-10s (12th, 11th, and 10th from the last).

What makes the DC-10 special in this regard is that it's designed for lots of cycles. That is why I cannot really see the Airbus A340-200 or -500 being converted to one, because while they are heavy MTOW frames relative to size, so few were built and while there are some in airworthy condition, they're almost all owned by governments. But most importantly, the A340 is not designed for frequent pressurization, and the A330-200/300, until arriving at high MTOWs for each, doesn't have the MTOW...keep in mind that DC-10 tankers are usually dispatched at only 60 percent of MTOW.

Is there the possibility of a firefighting tanker developed from the Boeing 767-300ER (of which the freighter version is still in production) or the Boeing 777F, or even the Boeing 787-9?
Last edited by aemoreira1981 on Tue Aug 27, 2019 8:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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seabosdca
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Re: Another wide-body firefighting supertanker?

Tue Aug 27, 2019 8:31 pm

The economics and low usage of these are such that they are always going to be older aircraft near the end of a commercial service life.

As of today the 332 and early 333 seem like the most likely possibilities for future developments, but I expect the existing DC-10s have a good deal of potential life left in them..
 
SpaceshipDC10
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Re: Another wide-body firefighting supertanker?

Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:08 pm

aemoreira1981 wrote:
keep in mind that DC-10 tankers are usually dispatched at only 60 percent of MTOW.


Part of the reason must be related to the lack of center MLG.
 
WayexTDI
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Re: Another wide-body firefighting supertanker?

Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:13 pm

SpaceshipDC10 wrote:
aemoreira1981 wrote:
keep in mind that DC-10 tankers are usually dispatched at only 60 percent of MTOW.


Part of the reason must be related to the lack of center MLG.

Do you mean that they deactivated or removed the Center MLG?
 
SpaceshipDC10
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Re: Another wide-body firefighting supertanker?

Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:15 pm

WayexTDI wrote:
Do you mean that they deactivated or removed the Center MLG?


 
32andBelow
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Re: Another wide-body firefighting supertanker?

Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:22 pm

These planes aren’t carrying commercial for cargo hire. I don’t see why they would be able to get life extending inspections when the time comes.
 
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JetBuddy
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Re: Another wide-body firefighting supertanker?

Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:37 pm

What about 757?

- Built for high cycles.
- Very sturdy.
- Overpowered (at least some variants)
- Parts available.
- No center MLG.
- Sits high off the ground so it could fit a belly tank.
 
nikeherc
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Re: Another wide-body firefighting supertanker?

Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:39 pm

WayexTDI wrote:
SpaceshipDC10 wrote:
aemoreira1981 wrote:
keep in mind that DC-10 tankers are usually dispatched at only 60 percent of MTOW.


Part of the reason must be related to the lack of center MLG.

Do you mean that they deactivated or removed the Center MLG?


The DC-10-10 Did not have a center main landing gear. That came with the -30.
DC6 to 777 and most things in between
 
JayinKitsap
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Re: Another wide-body firefighting supertanker?

Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:41 pm

Actually A332 would be quite good, conversion to freighter is not great due to floor beams and the slight tilt forward, but super easy to put tanks into.
 
IWMBH
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Re: Another wide-body firefighting supertanker?

Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:50 pm

The first thing that comes to mind is something (Soviet) Russian. Built to last and usable in harsh environments.
 
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monomojo
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Re: Another wide-body firefighting supertanker?

Tue Aug 27, 2019 10:01 pm

aemoreira1981 wrote:
With the fire in the Amazon, the lone Boeing 747 SuperTanker (which contains firefighting equipment taken out of an older firefighting tanker) was dispatched to VVI for firefighting activities. The other four firefighting tankers are four DC-10-30 frames (the original DC-10 tanker, a DC-10-10, was retired in 2015). These frames cannot fly forever though and will eventually need replacement...tanker 911 is significantly older than the rest, being built in 1975, while the others are near end-of-the-line DC-10s (12th, 11th, and 10th from the last).

What makes the DC-10 special in this regard is that it's designed for lots of cycles. That is why I cannot really see the Airbus A340-200 or -500 being converted to one, because while they are heavy MTOW frames relative to size, so few were built and while there are some in airworthy condition, they're almost all owned by governments. But most importantly, the A340 is not designed for frequent pressurization, and the A330-200/300, until arriving at high MTOWs for each, doesn't have the MTOW...keep in mind that DC-10 tankers are usually dispatched at only 60 percent of MTOW.

Is there the possibility of a firefighting tanker developed from the Boeing 767-300ER (of which the freighter version is still in production) or the Boeing 777F, or even the Boeing 787-9?


Pressurization cycles shouldn't be an issue for a firefighting tanker, they operate exclusively at low altitude when not transiting between operating areas.
 
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Spacepope
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Re: Another wide-body firefighting supertanker?

Tue Aug 27, 2019 10:03 pm

nikeherc wrote:
WayexTDI wrote:
SpaceshipDC10 wrote:

Part of the reason must be related to the lack of center MLG.

Do you mean that they deactivated or removed the Center MLG?


The DC-10-10 Did not have a center main landing gear. That came with the -30.


Yes but the DC-10-10 tanker was retired because it was the sole user of that oddball engine (CF-6-6) besides Fedex. The -30s all have commonality.

The A340-500 with deactivated center gear would still be a beast.
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MON
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Re: Another wide-body firefighting supertanker?

Tue Aug 27, 2019 10:40 pm

The much bigger A330 wing gives much lower minimum flying speeds (Cat C), and thus are significantly slower than the DC10-30 that is Cat D, that I thought would be beneficial for fire fighting.
 
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NameOmitted
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Re: Another wide-body firefighting supertanker?

Tue Aug 27, 2019 11:41 pm

How about ex USAF tankers as they are replaced by the 767? Old, yes, but ariel tankers have a long off season for maintenance
 
PhilMcCrackin
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Re: Another wide-body firefighting supertanker?

Wed Aug 28, 2019 12:22 am

I mean, you can convert almost anything. There's an outfit out there now that's running a couple of MD80s. Avro RJs are pretty popular too.

I doubt the DC10s pressurize regularly given the usually short flights they undertake and having to stay close to the ground for deployment. They should have a good bit of life left in them. They were out at here at KIWA for a bit this summer and they were fighting a fire that was only 10 miles away from the airport. You can bet they didn't get any higher than 5000 AGL.
 
PhilMcCrackin
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Re: Another wide-body firefighting supertanker?

Wed Aug 28, 2019 12:24 am

NameOmitted wrote:
How about ex USAF tankers as they are replaced by the 767? Old, yes, but ariel tankers have a long off season for maintenance


Not necessarily. I know the DC10 tankers head down to Australia for their summer fire season during the northern hemisphere winter.
 
gloom
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Re: Another wide-body firefighting supertanker?

Wed Aug 28, 2019 5:23 am

I actually love the Be200 idea. Not quite large (size of 737), but being able to land on water and tank it, instead of going to nearest airport, is quite useful.
However on a large scale, I just wonder which one is more effective: a large plane, or a fleet of small ones. Large one would be more effective, and a drop is quite effective (I guess, they also have some switches to control rate/area). On the other hands, with smaller ones it's way easier to provide contnuous flow, spread the drops, keep costs, provide more chances to be used.

There are quite a lot of small crafts (both planes and helos), while only a few large ones. Perhaps it's more effective to use a number of smaller crafts? Anyone with inside knowledge?

Cheers,
Adam
 
Canuck600
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Re: Another wide-body firefighting supertanker?

Wed Aug 28, 2019 6:39 am

The problem with the Very Large Air Tankers is that they are restricted by the number of airports they can use because of their need for longer runways.
 
VSMUT
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Re: Another wide-body firefighting supertanker?

Wed Aug 28, 2019 7:53 am

aemoreira1981 wrote:
and the A330-200/300, until arriving at high MTOWs for each, doesn't have the MTOW...keep in mind that DC-10 tankers are usually dispatched at only 60 percent of MTOW.


?
The A330 has more than enough MTOW. Just trade fuel for water.

IMO, it will be a cheap type. Other big water-bombers are based on cheap aircraft with poor resale values that otherwise fill the scrapyards. 737-300s, 747-200 and -400s, DC-10s, Avro RJs and MD-87s. This will decide which type will be used for the next big one. I think something like a 757-200, 767-200, A300 or A310 is a good bet, if you can find any in decent condition.
 
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CarbonFibre
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Re: Another wide-body firefighting supertanker?

Wed Aug 28, 2019 8:09 am

What about an A380? Plenty of capacity. :biggrin:
 
uta999
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Re: Another wide-body firefighting supertanker?

Wed Aug 28, 2019 8:16 am

Are aircraft the answer anyway? It must take at least an hour between flights to land and refill, and most if not all the water / powder is turned to vapour long before it hits anything remotely hot. Then there is the accuracy issue, with much of the dump missing its target anyway, minute in its impact.
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VSMUT
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Re: Another wide-body firefighting supertanker?

Wed Aug 28, 2019 8:24 am

uta999 wrote:
Are aircraft the answer anyway? It must take at least an hour between flights to land and refill, and most if not all the water / powder is turned to vapour long before it hits anything remotely hot. Then there is the accuracy issue, with much of the dump missing its target anyway, minute in its impact.


I'm thinking the same. Helicopters with buckets are probably more effective in remote areas with few airports.
 
Armadillo1
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Re: Another wide-body firefighting supertanker?

Wed Aug 28, 2019 8:29 am

there are very different kind of water/anti-fire bombers

very large like Il-76 and bigger can only "spreading" water in rain-style - some kind of "area-bombing"

smaller plane can really be a bomber with direct hit target.

also its a dangerous job.

as i remember recent events, an Il-76 crashed in mountain why fire-fighting in Russia, and Be-200 damaged by trees in Portigal.
so in needs durable frame (flying in air vortexes ) and good control at low alt and speed.
 
uta999
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Re: Another wide-body firefighting supertanker?

Wed Aug 28, 2019 10:11 am

Armadillo1 wrote:
there are very different kind of water/anti-fire bombers

very large like Il-76 and bigger can only "spreading" water in rain-style - some kind of "area-bombing"

smaller plane can really be a bomber with direct hit target.

also its a dangerous job.

as i remember recent events, an Il-76 crashed in mountain why fire-fighting in Russia, and Be-200 damaged by trees in Portigal.
so in needs durable frame (flying in air vortexes ) and good control at low alt and speed.


I remember a C-130 losing a wing and crashing a few years ago too.

https://www.military.com/video/aircraft ... 2191853001
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Max Q
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Re: Another wide-body firefighting supertanker?

Wed Aug 28, 2019 10:44 am

VSMUT wrote:
uta999 wrote:
Are aircraft the answer anyway? It must take at least an hour between flights to land and refill, and most if not all the water / powder is turned to vapour long before it hits anything remotely hot. Then there is the accuracy issue, with much of the dump missing its target anyway, minute in its impact.


I'm thinking the same. Helicopters with buckets are probably more effective in remote areas with few airports.



A helicopter is an aircraft, as is a gyrocopter, hot air balloon, dirigible, fixed
wing types, etc, anything made by man that flies


They are all ‘craft of the air’
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


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RJMAZ
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Re: Another wide-body firefighting supertanker?

Wed Aug 28, 2019 2:03 pm

They should have modular pallet water system that is sized as a standard military pallet.

The massive C-17 and C-130 fleet could be rapidly fitted for fire fighting duty.

CN-295 could fit two water tanks.
C-130 could fit four water tanks.
C-17 could fit twelve water tanks.

Dump water out the back door. The system could be extremely easy to install. Massive scale low altitude water bombing would be the ultimate war simulation. The USAF could build their training syllabus each year assuming a large bushfire somewhere in the world.

I am sure Australia would also buy such a modular water bombing system for their C-17's and C-130's.

Expecting a private company to modify hundreds of old airliners and have them maintained year round is an absolute joke.
Last edited by RJMAZ on Wed Aug 28, 2019 2:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
texl1649
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Re: Another wide-body firefighting supertanker?

Wed Aug 28, 2019 2:15 pm

There is no excess C-17 fleet anywhere to dedicate to firefighting.

The C-130 also sits too low for any external fairing, and dumping out the back ramp is unlikely.

The KC-10 fleet retirement may in fact open up some doors (haha) for further water bombers. There are a lot of 767's that will become available as well, but the old douglas birds will continue to be favored I believe just due to how ruggedly they were built, for endless cycles.

No western operators want to deal with Russian type logistics support, or liabilities.
 
FluidFlow
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Re: Another wide-body firefighting supertanker?

Wed Aug 28, 2019 2:25 pm

RJMAZ wrote:
They should have modular pallet water system that is sized as a standard military pallet.

The massive C-17 and C-130 fleet could be rapidly fitted for fire fighting duty.

CN-295 could fit two water tanks.
C-130 could fit four water tanks.
C-17 could fit twelve water tanks.

Dump water out the back door. The system could be extremely easy to install. Massive scale low altitude water bombing would be the ultimate war simulation. The USAF could build their training syllabus each year assuming a large bushfire somewhere in the world.

I am sure Australia would also buy such a modular water bombing system for their C-17's and C-130's.

Expecting a private company to modify hundreds of old airliners and have them maintained year round is an absolute joke.


I do not think that this would work at all. To be able to dump enough water in a short time there would have to be a tube with at least 1m+ in diameter hanging out the back of the aircraft and all the pallets would have to be connected with the same size tube. As the water can only flow downwards the aircraft would have to fly slow with high AoA to be able to dump. On top of that the CoG would shift really quick really far back when the water is released. That is just really dangerous. When the 767 tanker already needs software to be flyable during refueling this way of firefighting would be nearly impossible to handle. That would be like going from mid CoG to full aft CoG to mit CoG within <10s with around 5+ degree of AoA at 300ft. This could add fuel to the fire, literally.
 
RJMAZ
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Re: Another wide-body firefighting supertanker?

Wed Aug 28, 2019 2:28 pm

texl1649 wrote:
There is no excess C-17 fleet anywhere to dedicate to firefighting.

I call BS on that.

Only a cery small single figure percentage of the C-17's and C-130's are in the air at any moment. The USAF is not at war.

A huge portion of the flight hours are also spent doing training. Most of which is to simply gain flight hours, these flights are fully optional and could be done later in the year. You declare an emergency, get all the pilots off leave and send 10% of the transport fleet to Brazil.

The transport crew performing the water bombing would actually satisfy most of their training requirements for the year. So it would replace many elements of their yearly flight training.

Here is an example of some of the training being done this very week.

https://www.edwards.af.mil/News/Article ... ical-week/
 
RJMAZ
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Re: Another wide-body firefighting supertanker?

Wed Aug 28, 2019 2:37 pm

FluidFlow wrote:
I do not think that this would work at all. To be able to dump enough water in a short time there would have to be a tube with at least 1m+ in diameter hanging out the back of the aircraft and all the pallets would have to be connected with the same size tube. As the water can only flow downwards the aircraft would have to fly slow with high AoA to be able to dump. On top of that the CoG would shift really quick really far back when the water is released. That is just really dangerous. When the 767 tanker already needs software to be flyable during refueling this way of firefighting would be nearly impossible to handle. That would be like going from mid CoG to full aft CoG to mit CoG within <10s with around 5+ degree of AoA at 300ft. This could add fuel to the fire, literally.

Yes the change of centre of gravity would be very large. Like dropping an armoured vehicle out the back ramp.

Image

Of course the water pallets would have very big inlets and outlets to flow quickly. They could just be flanged to bolt together. The floor of the transports have all of the mounting points required.

Lucky the C-17's and C-130's are both STOL and are more agile than any airliner. They can operate from airports that no DC-10 or A330 could land.
 
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FlyThiz
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Re: Another wide-body firefighting supertanker?

Wed Aug 28, 2019 2:51 pm

I always wondered about an A380 super tanker. With the way things are progressing for the worst, it would not be such a bad idea, at least in theory. I’m not sure the structure of the fuselage/wings could handle any potential stresses caused by constant low/slow flying and the rapid release of water/phos-chek repeatedly.
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FluidFlow
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Re: Another wide-body firefighting supertanker?

Wed Aug 28, 2019 2:53 pm

RJMAZ wrote:
FluidFlow wrote:
I do not think that this would work at all. To be able to dump enough water in a short time there would have to be a tube with at least 1m+ in diameter hanging out the back of the aircraft and all the pallets would have to be connected with the same size tube. As the water can only flow downwards the aircraft would have to fly slow with high AoA to be able to dump. On top of that the CoG would shift really quick really far back when the water is released. That is just really dangerous. When the 767 tanker already needs software to be flyable during refueling this way of firefighting would be nearly impossible to handle. That would be like going from mid CoG to full aft CoG to mit CoG within <10s with around 5+ degree of AoA at 300ft. This could add fuel to the fire, literally.

Yes the change of centre of gravity would be very large. Like dropping an armoured vehicle out the back ramp.

Of course the water pallets would have very big inlets and outlets to flow quickly. They could just be flanged to bolt together. The floor of the transports have all of the mounting points required.

Lucky the C-17's and C-130's are both STOL and are more agile than any airliner. They can operate from airports that no DC-10 or A330 could land.


I took the picture out of the quote for readability. You can see how the elevator pushes down the nose to offset the CoG change. Really nice but the tank is all the way at the back and the aircraft stable before the drop. So it is only a shift from full aft to center CoG and not center-->aft-->center. So the action from the pilots switches from holding the column and reacting to the lightening by pulling up to pressing the column forward just to immediately pull again. On top of that there are normally strong winds correlated with big forest fires and also terrain that is not always flat. This will never be allowed.

And only 10% of pilots are qualified to airdrop and they are needed else were anyway (search for airdrop-qualified aircrews): https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7249/j.ctt14bs1w5.13?seq=4#metadata_info_tab_contents
Sending trainees would not end well or be useless if they have to drop from too far up.
 
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Spacepope
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Re: Another wide-body firefighting supertanker?

Wed Aug 28, 2019 3:22 pm

RJMAZ wrote:
They should have modular pallet water system that is sized as a standard military pallet.

The massive C-17 and C-130 fleet could be rapidly fitted for fire fighting duty.

CN-295 could fit two water tanks.
C-130 could fit four water tanks.
C-17 could fit twelve water tanks.

Dump water out the back door. The system could be extremely easy to install. Massive scale low altitude water bombing would be the ultimate war simulation. The USAF could build their training syllabus each year assuming a large bushfire somewhere in the world.

I am sure Australia would also buy such a modular water bombing system for their C-17's and C-130's.

Expecting a private company to modify hundreds of old airliners and have them maintained year round is an absolute joke.


They do, it's called MAFFS. The CAL FIRE C-130s that they got from the failed program to shift USCG aircraft to the USFS are parked waiting for additional MAFFS pallets to be built,

Australia has bought no such thing, they contract with private companies (DC-10, RJ-85 and C-130) and have reportedly bought one of the Coulson conversions of ex-WN 737-300s. They don;t use their on airlifters.

The US relies on a civilian fleet for their firefighting needs, I don't see why the idea of what is happening now would be a joke.
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RJMAZ
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Re: Another wide-body firefighting supertanker?

Wed Aug 28, 2019 3:22 pm

FlyThiz wrote:
I always wondered about an A380 super tanker. With the way things are progressing for the worst, it would not be such a bad idea, at least in theory. I’m not sure the structure of the fuselage/wings could handle any potential stresses caused by constant low/slow flying and the rapid release of water/phos-chek repeatedly.

The nearest airport that can land an A380 might be 500kms away. So it could only airdrop a load every few hours.

A C-17 could land on a 800metre strip 10km from the fire and do multiple drops per hour. A single C-17 could easily do the job of two A380's in terms of water delivered per day.

That is why the only solution is military STOL aircraft. They do do more drops per hour. They have the ability to handle higher G loading and have higher agility to handle the turbulent air above the fire.
 
FluidFlow
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Re: Another wide-body firefighting supertanker?

Wed Aug 28, 2019 3:32 pm

Spacepope wrote:
RJMAZ wrote:
They should have modular pallet water system that is sized as a standard military pallet.

The massive C-17 and C-130 fleet could be rapidly fitted for fire fighting duty.

CN-295 could fit two water tanks.
C-130 could fit four water tanks.
C-17 could fit twelve water tanks.

Dump water out the back door. The system could be extremely easy to install. Massive scale low altitude water bombing would be the ultimate war simulation. The USAF could build their training syllabus each year assuming a large bushfire somewhere in the world.

I am sure Australia would also buy such a modular water bombing system for their C-17's and C-130's.

Expecting a private company to modify hundreds of old airliners and have them maintained year round is an absolute joke.


They do, it's called MAFFS. The CAL FIRE C-130s that they got from the failed program to shift USCG aircraft to the USFS are parked waiting for additional MAFFS pallets to be built,

Australia has bought no such thing, they contract with private companies (DC-10, RJ-85 and C-130) and have reportedly bought one of the Coulson conversions of ex-WN 737-300s. They don;t use their on airlifters.

The US relies on a civilian fleet for their firefighting needs, I don't see why the idea of what is happening now would be a joke.


Interesting solution i therefore retract my comment from above.

Using high pressure instead of gravity of course removes the problem of CoG shift.
 
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chunhimlai
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Re: Another wide-body firefighting supertanker?

Wed Aug 28, 2019 3:41 pm

how about a380?
 
mham001
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Re: Another wide-body firefighting supertanker?

Wed Aug 28, 2019 4:02 pm

uta999 wrote:
Are aircraft the answer anyway? It must take at least an hour between flights to land and refill, and most if not all the water / powder is turned to vapour long before it hits anything remotely hot. Then there is the accuracy issue, with much of the dump missing its target anyway, minute in its impact.


In my area they drop a red gel which is also a fertilizer to promote new vegetative growth. It does not evaporate and I have seen them make direct hits on many houses and points of interest, in fact I still have some things stained red.
 
Pavlakakos
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Re: Another wide-body firefighting supertanker?

Wed Aug 28, 2019 4:05 pm

For the price of 1 supertanker you can buy 10 CL-415's. Especially in this Amazon disaster, those could take water from the huge rivers and drop within 5-10 minutes, while a supertanker would need 1-2 hours to go to a suitable airport, refill and get back to the scene.

All one would need is a refueling ship nearby.
 
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Spacepope
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Re: Another wide-body firefighting supertanker?

Wed Aug 28, 2019 4:13 pm

FluidFlow wrote:
Spacepope wrote:
RJMAZ wrote:
They should have modular pallet water system that is sized as a standard military pallet.

The massive C-17 and C-130 fleet could be rapidly fitted for fire fighting duty.

CN-295 could fit two water tanks.
C-130 could fit four water tanks.
C-17 could fit twelve water tanks.

Dump water out the back door. The system could be extremely easy to install. Massive scale low altitude water bombing would be the ultimate war simulation. The USAF could build their training syllabus each year assuming a large bushfire somewhere in the world.

I am sure Australia would also buy such a modular water bombing system for their C-17's and C-130's.

Expecting a private company to modify hundreds of old airliners and have them maintained year round is an absolute joke.


They do, it's called MAFFS. The CAL FIRE C-130s that they got from the failed program to shift USCG aircraft to the USFS are parked waiting for additional MAFFS pallets to be built,

Australia has bought no such thing, they contract with private companies (DC-10, RJ-85 and C-130) and have reportedly bought one of the Coulson conversions of ex-WN 737-300s. They don;t use their on airlifters.

The US relies on a civilian fleet for their firefighting needs, I don't see why the idea of what is happening now would be a joke.


Interesting solution i therefore retract my comment from above.

Using high pressure instead of gravity of course removes the problem of CoG shift.


using baffles in any centrally mounted tank would eliminate CoG shift regardless of gravity or pressure.
The last of the famous international playboys
 
Ronaldo747
Posts: 394
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Re: Another wide-body firefighting supertanker?

Wed Aug 28, 2019 4:32 pm

Having some doubts about deploying widebody-two haulers (A330,B767,B777) as firefighting planes. They might need higher operating heights for safety reasons than the 747 or DC10, that means less effectivity. A 747 and a DC10 are still doing fine with one engine out while dropping the load. And even with all engines running, you need a lot of raw power for this, so the A342/A343 would be out of the game as well.
 
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flyingclrs727
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Re: Another wide-body firefighting supertanker?

Wed Aug 28, 2019 5:14 pm

Ronaldo747 wrote:
Having some doubts about deploying widebody-two haulers (A330,B767,B777) as firefighting planes. They might need higher operating heights for safety reasons than the 747 or DC10, that means less effectivity. A 747 and a DC10 are still doing fine with one engine out while dropping the load. And even with all engines running, you need a lot of raw power for this, so the A342/A343 would be out of the game as well.


No company is going to get a new STC for a firefighting plane that exceeds the OEM flight envelope. The DC-10 and 747 firefighters are first of all cerified freighters either factory built or converted. There are large twin engined freighters like the 777F. I would assume they are required to be able to operate with one engine shut off. In fact a firefighting plane has an advantage. It could just dump its cargo if an engine has to be shut down.
 
Magnolia
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Re: Another wide-body firefighting supertanker?

Wed Aug 28, 2019 5:14 pm

mham001 wrote:
In my area they drop a red gel which is also a fertilizer to promote new vegetative growth. It does not evaporate and I have seen them make direct hits on many houses and points of interest, in fact I still have some things stained red.

I am intrigued, where is this?
 
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Spacepope
Posts: 4786
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Re: Another wide-body firefighting supertanker?

Wed Aug 28, 2019 6:21 pm

Ronaldo747 wrote:
Having some doubts about deploying widebody-two haulers (A330,B767,B777) as firefighting planes. They might need higher operating heights for safety reasons than the 747 or DC10, that means less effectivity. A 747 and a DC10 are still doing fine with one engine out while dropping the load. And even with all engines running, you need a lot of raw power for this, so the A342/A343 would be out of the game as well.


Firefighting twins have been used successfully since the 1940s. All the way back to Douglas A-26s and Grumman Tigercats. Singles are used extensively today as well with SEATs, and were used as far back as post WWII with Avengers. As for current twins there are MD-87s, 737-300s, Q 400s and of course the Canadairs. Number of engines isn't really a consideration.
The last of the famous international playboys
 
Ronaldo747
Posts: 394
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Re: Another wide-body firefighting supertanker?

Wed Aug 28, 2019 6:56 pm

flyingclrs727 wrote:
There are large twin engined freighters like the 777F.


You are right, the 777F is very powerful, it should be doing fine there as well.



Spacepope wrote:
As for current twins there are MD-87s, 737-300s, Q 400s and of course the Canadairs. Number of engines isn't really a consideration.


I have no doubts about narrowbody twins.
 
PaxPicti
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Re: Another wide-body firefighting supertanker?

Wed Aug 28, 2019 7:20 pm

uta999 wrote:
Are aircraft the answer anyway? It must take at least an hour between flights to land and refill, and most if not all the water / powder is turned to vapour long before it hits anything remotely hot. Then there is the accuracy issue, with much of the dump missing its target anyway, minute in its impact.

Watch some videos of the 747 Supertanker in operation. Firstly accuracy is very good and secondly the coverage is so vast compared to normal tankers that pinpoint accuracy isn't as important - and it certainly doesn't evaporate before hitting the ground. The second video shows clearly why the 747 is perfectly suited for accuracy because of its high cockpit position.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wIRIhYvxILc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8w2ELp-7Oxo
 
Waterbomber2
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Re: Another wide-body firefighting supertanker?

Wed Aug 28, 2019 7:31 pm

Yes well there is definitely a need for widebody tankers and pretty much anything could be converted.
However, there is no interest to allocate large budgets for aerial firefighting.
So until there is commitment to convert hundreds of older widebodies, it s a pointless discussion.

In technical terms, a large fleet of aerial tankers could be useful in wildfire suppression but even provide preventive relief.
For instance a large coordinated drop aftet sunset in an arid area with high temperatures and high moisture could tip the balance by cooling the air and increasing humidity locally and providing condensation nuclei, resulting in rain.
This is called cloud seeding.

Last night I tried this on a small scale and I could make unforecasted rain fall locally in an area where it hasnt rained since 3 months.
 
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smithbs
Posts: 519
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Re: Another wide-body firefighting supertanker?

Wed Aug 28, 2019 8:23 pm

IWMBH wrote:
The first thing that comes to mind is something (Soviet) Russian. Built to last and usable in harsh environments.


Il-76 has a conversion kit for firebombing. Great capacity, and you could haul regular cargo in the off season. Apparently the Il-76 that runs this has good business around the world fighting fires.

https://fireaviation.com/2017/01/30/rus ... -in-chile/

According to the article, here are the capacities:
Il-76: 11,574 gal
DC-10: 11,600 gal
747: 19,200 gal

mham001 wrote:
In my area they drop a red gel which is also a fertilizer to promote new vegetative growth. It does not evaporate and I have seen them make direct hits on many houses and points of interest, in fact I still have some things stained red.


Same here. There was a fire on a steep mountainside just south of me and only helicopters could reach it. They boxed the fire with red gel - you can still see the "rusty" lines on the mountainside.

Pavlakakos wrote:
For the price of 1 supertanker you can buy 10 CL-415's. Especially in this Amazon disaster, those could take water from the huge rivers and drop within 5-10 minutes, while a supertanker would need 1-2 hours to go to a suitable airport, refill and get back to the scene.


Agreed. But isn't the CL-415 out of production?
 
strfyr51
Posts: 5094
Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2012 5:04 pm

Re: Another wide-body firefighting supertanker?

Wed Aug 28, 2019 8:33 pm

Spacepope wrote:
nikeherc wrote:
WayexTDI wrote:
Do you mean that they deactivated or removed the Center MLG?


The DC-10-10 Did not have a center main landing gear. That came with the -30.


Yes but the DC-10-10 tanker was retired because it was the sole user of that oddball engine (CF-6-6) besides Fedex. The -30s all have commonality.

The A340-500 with deactivated center gear would still be a beast.

the DC10-20 did carry the CF6-50 engine But was only used by Mexicana that I know of for Hot and High takeoffs from Mexico City.00
 
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Spacepope
Posts: 4786
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Re: Another wide-body firefighting supertanker?

Wed Aug 28, 2019 8:44 pm

strfyr51 wrote:
Spacepope wrote:
nikeherc wrote:

The DC-10-10 Did not have a center main landing gear. That came with the -30.


Yes but the DC-10-10 tanker was retired because it was the sole user of that oddball engine (CF-6-6) besides Fedex. The -30s all have commonality.

The A340-500 with deactivated center gear would still be a beast.

the DC10-20 did carry the CF6-50 engine But was only used by Mexicana that I know of for Hot and High takeoffs from Mexico City.00


There was no -20. The proposed -20 was renamed -40 and used Pratt JT9Ds. You're surely thinking of the -15 series, which had engine commonality with the -30s.
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FlyThiz
Posts: 41
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Re: Another wide-body firefighting supertanker?

Wed Aug 28, 2019 9:00 pm

Magnolia wrote:
mham001 wrote:
In my area they drop a red gel which is also a fertilizer to promote new vegetative growth. It does not evaporate and I have seen them make direct hits on many houses and points of interest, in fact I still have some things stained red.

I am intrigued, where is this?


It's phos-chek. It's a fire retardant.
Is mayonnaise an instrument?

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