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AirbusOnly
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Australian bushfires -why is the "global supertanker" not used

Fri Jan 10, 2020 3:07 pm

Maybe it was reported here before - but I couldn't find any message about it. But I wonder why the "global supertanker" based on a rebuild Boeing 747 not used in the devastating bushfires in Australia?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NjCHXNHE6QE

Isn't it able anymore to fly long distances from USA to Australia or do they got their own planes there? Or is that plane not suitable in that area? Other causes?
 
qcpilotxf
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Re: Australian bushfires -why is the "global supertanker" not used

Fri Jan 10, 2020 3:35 pm

Tanker 944 is currently in Marana, AZ under maintenance, has been since the middle of November
 
lat41
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Re: Australian bushfires -why is the "global supertanker" not used

Fri Jan 10, 2020 6:22 pm

How about the DC-10s
 
stranger706
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Re: Australian bushfires -why is the "global supertanker" not used

Fri Jan 10, 2020 7:35 pm

saw 1 or 2 of the dc10s parked in mobile over the past week
 
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DIRECTFLT
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Re: Australian bushfires -why is the "global supertanker" not used

Fri Jan 10, 2020 7:37 pm

I was wondering why Australia wasn't using Osprey aircraft to evacuate people in remote areas. If they don't have some of these aircraft, they should get some.
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Swiss4Ever
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Re: Australian bushfires -why is the "global supertanker" not used

Fri Jan 10, 2020 7:47 pm

AirbusOnly wrote:
Maybe it was reported here before - but I couldn't find any message about it. But I wonder why the "global supertanker" based on a rebuild Boeing 747 not used in the devastating bushfires in Australia?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NjCHXNHE6QE

Isn't it able anymore to fly long distances from USA to Australia or do they got their own planes there? Or is that plane not suitable in that area? Other causes?



Could it be that Australia did not call for help yet? I don't want to go into politics too much but according to the Australian PM everything is just fine. Nothing to worry about, fires happen all the times, move along. Sarcasm off!
 
moa999
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Re: Australian bushfires -why is the "global supertanker" not used

Fri Jan 10, 2020 10:51 pm

As I understand it - usefulness and cost effectiveness. Not enough 747 capable runways in proximity to fire grounds and cost versus alternatives.

From a recent local article, Australia has 160 fire aircraft this season, the largest being a Coulson operated 737 that was new this year, but even it is limited on runway choice

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-11-15/ ... fmredir=sm

While some of the local emergency service want more planes, others prefers $s to ground based equipment

On many of the worst days, high winds and smoke everywhere, the aircraft are grounded due to lack of visibility.
 
aerokiwi
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Re: Australian bushfires -why is the

Fri Jan 10, 2020 11:03 pm

moa999 wrote:
As I understand it - usefulness and cost effectiveness. Not enough 747 capable runways in proximity to fire grounds and cost versus alternatives.

From a recent local article, Australia has 160 fire aircraft this season, the largest being a Coulson operated 737 that was new this year, but even it is limited on runway choice

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-11-15/ ... fmredir=sm

While some of the local emergency service want more planes, others prefers $s to ground based equipment

On many of the worst days, high winds and smoke everywhere, the aircraft are grounded due to lack of visibility.


I'm almost certain a DC10 is in use. There's an incredible video of a guy in his backyard watching it fly over his place. Unless it was from previous years.
 
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RyanairGuru
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Re: Australian bushfires -why is the "global supertanker" not used

Fri Jan 10, 2020 11:11 pm

There is definitely at least one DC-10, and IIRC one more is joining it in a couple of weeks.

I'm not sure that runways are the issue. RAAF Richmond is the primary base for the NSW fires, with CBR as a secondary base. Richmond only has a 7,001 foot runway, but Canberra's is 10,771 feet.
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Spacepope
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Re: Australian bushfires -why is the "global supertanker" not used

Fri Jan 10, 2020 11:27 pm

RyanairGuru wrote:
There is definitely at least one DC-10, and IIRC one more is joining it in a couple of weeks.

I'm not sure that runways are the issue. RAAF Richmond is the primary base for the NSW fires, with CBR as a secondary base. Richmond only has a 7,001 foot runway, but Canberra's is 10,771 feet.


Tanker 911 is down there now, with 912 finishing up MX and deploying in a few days. Tanker 914 will follow 10 days later.

That'll bring the DC-10 fleet to 3 of the 4 operational airframes in use in Australia.
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lightsaber
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Re: Australian bushfires -why is the "global supertanker" not used

Sat Jan 11, 2020 12:34 am

Spacepope wrote:
RyanairGuru wrote:
There is definitely at least one DC-10, and IIRC one more is joining it in a couple of weeks.

I'm not sure that runways are the issue. RAAF Richmond is the primary base for the NSW fires, with CBR as a secondary base. Richmond only has a 7,001 foot runway, but Canberra's is 10,771 feet.


Tanker 911 is down there now, with 912 finishing up MX and deploying in a few days. Tanker 914 will follow 10 days later.

That'll bring the DC-10 fleet to 3 of the 4 operational airframes in use in Australia.

It was an early fire season. To make enough money to stay in business, firefighting aircraft must move around. They also require extensive maintenance, from what I heard:

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/wor ... 197630002/

The following link requires a subscription, but has the meat of it. Basically, California's fire season went long and Australia's started early.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/21/worl ... hange.html

Now I am speculating on the maintenance, but the nature of the work, age of the aircraft, and need to meet all certification maintenance requirements means being caught with aircraft in checks.

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Eagleboy
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Re: Australian bushfires -why is the "global supertanker" not used

Sat Jan 11, 2020 1:00 am

DIRECTFLT wrote:
I was wondering why Australia wasn't using Osprey aircraft to evacuate people in remote areas. If they don't have some of these aircraft, they should get some.

I doubt you can just "get some" Ospreys on Amazon or Ebay with a sub 6 month delivery deal.


As for the "global supertanket", I'm pretty sure that SYD is B747 capable. Might not be wholly suitable for FF ops but it's close enough.
 
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Re: Australian bushfires -why is the "global supertanker" not used

Sat Jan 11, 2020 1:39 am

Eagleboy wrote:
DIRECTFLT wrote:
I was wondering why Australia wasn't using Osprey aircraft to evacuate people in remote areas. If they don't have some of these aircraft, they should get some.

I doubt you can just "get some" Ospreys on Amazon or Ebay with a sub 6 month delivery deal.


As for the "global supertanket", I'm pretty sure that SYD is B747 capable. Might not be wholly suitable for FF ops but it's close enough.


Sydney is very close to most of the threatening fires around the Sydney region. Sydney takes heavy 747s no problem.
 
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Re: Australian bushfires -why is the "global supertanker" not used

Sat Jan 11, 2020 1:49 am

cpd wrote:
Eagleboy wrote:
DIRECTFLT wrote:
I was wondering why Australia wasn't using Osprey aircraft to evacuate people in remote areas. If they don't have some of these aircraft, they should get some.

I doubt you can just "get some" Ospreys on Amazon or Ebay with a sub 6 month delivery deal.


As for the "global supertanket", I'm pretty sure that SYD is B747 capable. Might not be wholly suitable for FF ops but it's close enough.


Sydney is very close to most of the threatening fires around the Sydney region. Sydney takes heavy 747s no problem.


I thought Richmond AFB was the main Sydney base for the tankers?

The NSW fires alone are across and area of around 900 miles by 200 miles. There are fires that have have extended south into Victoria, as well as the Gippsland fires.

Both Syd and Richmond are more than 747 capable - SYD has dozens of a380 flights a day plus multiple 747 and 747F flights daily.
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SYDSpotter
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Re: Australian bushfires -why is the "global supertanker" not used

Sat Jan 11, 2020 2:11 am

DIRECTFLT wrote:
I was wondering why Australia wasn't using Osprey aircraft to evacuate people in remote areas. If they don't have some of these aircraft, they should get some.


Why does Australia need Osprey the specifically? What special characteristics over a normal helicopter make it essential to acquire?
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Re: Australian bushfires -why is the "global supertanker" not used

Sat Jan 11, 2020 2:17 am

It's sad politics have to get in the way of aircraft like the Be-200.
 
SYDSpotter
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Re: Australian bushfires -why is the "global supertanker" not used

Sat Jan 11, 2020 2:18 am

Kent350787 wrote:

I thought Richmond AFB was the main Sydney base for the tankers?

The NSW fires alone are across and area of around 900 miles by 200 miles. There are fires that have have extended south into Victoria, as well as the Gippsland fires.

Both Syd and Richmond are more than 747 capable - SYD has dozens of a380 flights a day plus multiple 747 and 747F flights daily.


Yup Richmond is the main base, Richmond is a far better alternative to SYD as a base for firefighting ops as the support facilities and logistics are far better than SYD. There would be far too many compromises at SYD (runway ops, lack of space/facilities).

The firefighting strategy revolves mainly around saving lives and minimising property loss rather than trying to extinguish the entire fire front. Whilst large aircraft can dump larger payloads, it lacks the precision of smaller aircraft and helicopters who can take multiple payloads in the same time a large aircraft takes to make 1 run.
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Re: Australian bushfires -why is the "global supertanker" not used

Sat Jan 11, 2020 4:15 am

Slug71 wrote:
It's sad politics have to get in the way of aircraft like the Be-200.


Where do you think a BE-200 is gonna scoop from for most of these fires? And the rest of them, dumping seawater is a good plan? There’s a reason why scoopers aren’t used much at all in Aus.
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Re: Australian bushfires -why is the "global supertanker" not used

Sat Jan 11, 2020 7:25 am

SYDSpotter wrote:
DIRECTFLT wrote:
I was wondering why Australia wasn't using Osprey aircraft to evacuate people in remote areas. If they don't have some of these aircraft, they should get some.


Why does Australia need Osprey the specifically? What special characteristics over a normal helicopter make it essential to acquire?


I think you're right. On second thought, a large helicopter would do the trick!
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colemcandrew
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Re: Australian bushfires -why is the "global supertanker" not used

Sat Jan 11, 2020 7:31 am

I’m honestly suprised they don’t have Tanker 944. Last i recall hearing from a friend it’s sitting in the dirt.
 
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Slug71
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Re: Australian bushfires -why is the "global supertanker" not used

Sat Jan 11, 2020 7:42 am

Spacepope wrote:
Slug71 wrote:
It's sad politics have to get in the way of aircraft like the Be-200.


Where do you think a BE-200 is gonna scoop from for most of these fires? And the rest of them, dumping seawater is a good plan? There’s a reason why scoopers aren’t used much at all in Aus.


These don't have to scoop..... it just makes them versatile. They can fill up on land too.
 
Gemuser
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Re: Australian bushfires -why is the "global supertanker" not used

Sat Jan 11, 2020 8:10 am

Slug71 wrote:
Spacepope wrote:
Slug71 wrote:
It's sad politics have to get in the way of aircraft like the Be-200.


Where do you think a BE-200 is gonna scoop from for most of these fires? And the rest of them, dumping seawater is a good plan? There’s a reason why scoopers aren’t used much at all in Aus.


These don't have to scoop..... it just makes them versatile. They can fill up on land too.

As much as I wold like to see a Be-200 fighting these fires IMHO the logistical problems involved would preclude their effective deployment to here.
A fleet of 10-20 CL-415 to operated along the East Coast has got to be more effective both productitively & fincinally than the rag tag lot of light aircraft I've seen on the media over the last few weeks.
Sea water is not a problem the CL-415 is certified for it and is used by Spain, France, Italy & Greace scooping from the Med. The BE-200 has also operated around the Med.

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Re: Australian bushfires -why is the "global supertanker" not used

Sat Jan 11, 2020 2:53 pm

Gemuser wrote:
Sea water is not a problem the CL-415 is certified for it and is used by Spain, France, Italy & Greace scooping from the Med. The BE-200 has also operated around the Med.

Dumping sea water leaves a lot of salt on the ground after the water evaporates, which is not good for plant growth post-fire. The ocean also usually features taller waves than lakes, which can be a hazard to scooping aircraft. So its only used if the (calm) ocean is really close by or if no other water source is available.
 
Eikie
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Re: Australian bushfires -why is the "global supertanker" not used

Sat Jan 11, 2020 3:03 pm

The goal of the firefighters in not to stop Australia burning, it is already too late.
They can only try to save property and people, while waiting for the fires to die out.

A forest fire on this scale is not extinguishable.

A big(ger) plane might just be too much for the above strategy.
 
jupiter2
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Re: Australian bushfires -why is the "global supertanker" not used

Sat Jan 11, 2020 4:46 pm

I mentioned in a similar topic that we currently have the following aircraft for fire fighting duties :
1 x DC-10 (Very Large Air Tanker, VLAT)
2 x 737's (Large Air Tanker, LAT)
2 x C-130's (LAT)
1 x RJ 85 (LAT)

The government has since announced that they have contracted for 4 more aircraft, 2 x DC-10's and what was initially expected to be 2 x C-130's, but now appear to be 2 x MD-87's from Erickson Air Tankers. There are also a plethora of large and medium sized helicopters and small fixed wing tankers.

https://fireaviation.com/2020/01/08/two ... australia/
 
mga707
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Re: Australian bushfires -why is the "global supertanker" not used

Sat Jan 11, 2020 5:03 pm

colemcandrew wrote:
I’m honestly suprised they don’t have Tanker 944. Last i recall hearing from a friend it’s sitting in the dirt.


It's on a concrete ramp (not 'dirt'!) at Pinal Air Park near Marana AZ (NW of Tucson) undergoing regularly-scheduled maintenance.
 
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Re: Australian bushfires -why is the "global supertanker" not used

Mon Jan 13, 2020 1:23 am

cpd wrote:
Eagleboy wrote:
DIRECTFLT wrote:
I was wondering why Australia wasn't using Osprey aircraft to evacuate people in remote areas. If they don't have some of these aircraft, they should get some.

I doubt you can just "get some" Ospreys on Amazon or Ebay with a sub 6 month delivery deal.


As for the "global supertanket", I'm pretty sure that SYD is B747 capable. Might not be wholly suitable for FF ops but it's close enough.


Sydney is very close to most of the threatening fires around the Sydney region. Sydney takes heavy 747s no problem.


Where would you fit in the fire fighting flights in SYD though? SYD is pretty chokkas with passenger flights.
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Canuck600
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Re: Australian bushfires -why is the "global supertanker" not used

Mon Jan 13, 2020 1:58 am

It's not just the runway length you also need the facilities-tanks etc for mixing fire retardant. Shocked that there aren't 747 Freighters bringing down more helicopters from North America.
 
jupiter2
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Re: Australian bushfires -why is the "global supertanker" not used

Mon Jan 13, 2020 2:04 am

Canuck600 wrote:
It's not just the runway length you also need the facilities-tanks etc for mixing fire retardant. Shocked that there aren't 747 Freighters bringing down more helicopters from North America.


A couple arrived on Saturday an a scheduled QF freight flight.
 
RJMAZ
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Re: Australian bushfires -why is the "global supertanker" not used

Mon Jan 13, 2020 2:33 am

As an Australian it is pretty disappointing how little our military is doing. Rapid response is definitely not something the ADF is good at.

The Navy sent a ship that was days late. Where were the Chinooks? They were probably getting "maintenance". Our MRH-90 fleet is grounded...

It is ridiculous that the RAAF doesn't even have the modular fire fighting systems for their C-130's.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modular ... ing_System

Surely the system could also be scaled down to suit the agile C-27J. There was a 74 year old pilot that crashed one of the helicopters. It shows how incompetent the RAAF pilots must be when they elderly people doing most of the flying. I'm sure the admin staff in the RAAF have to do 2 years of risk assessments before the aircraft can get used.
 
timtam
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Re: Australian bushfires -why is the "global supertanker" not used

Mon Jan 13, 2020 3:12 am

Leave it to the experts who know what they are doing.

Bushfires are a part of life in Australia - always have been - always will be. Everyone does their best to minimise their impact but every so often, the conditions are such that they cannot be stopped.
 
md83ftw
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Re: Australian bushfires -why is the "global supertanker" not used

Mon Jan 13, 2020 9:01 am

Natural disaster management and response efforts are the responsibility of each state in Australia. This leads each state fire service to make their own arrangements for aeriel capabailities as they see fit or under the direction of the state government of the day.

In addition, the Federal Government provides an approx 10% top up anually to the budget of the National Aeriel Firefighting Centre (NAFC), a non for profit organisation that is jointly run and funded by all states to the tune of $140+ million AUD per annum. It enables resource sharing and leases aerial firefighting craft for the joint use of all states in addition to their own fleets.

Succesive federal governments have been reluctant to tackle the complexities of a nationalised emergency response. Multiple extreme bushfire events in recent years have resulted in last minute Federal payments to the NAFC to fight out of control fires or cross boarder blazes, though this severely limits the timeframe to source additional aerial assets get them into action.

It must be an aboslute nightmare from a logistical standpoint to perform maintenance on those firefighting birds when it's so difficult to predict the exact lengths and severity of the NA and Aus fire seasons, which as noted above have historically tended to alternate evenly.

The increased severity of bushfire related incidence, including cross-boarder fires between states, has led to calls to nationalise aspects of Australia's disaster response efforts.

This article may explain better: https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.smh.co ... 53onl.html

RJMAZ wrote:
As an Australian it is pretty disappointing how little our military is doing. Rapid response is definitely not something the ADF is good at.

The Navy sent a ship that was days late. Where were the Chinooks? They were probably getting "maintenance". Our MRH-90 fleet is grounded...

It is ridiculous that the RAAF doesn't even have the modular fire fighting systems for their C-130's.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modular ... ing_System

Surely the system could also be scaled down to suit the agile C-27J. There was a 74 year old pilot that crashed one of the helicopters. It shows how incompetent the RAAF pilots must be when they elderly people doing most of the flying. I'm sure the admin staff in the RAAF have to do 2 years of risk assessments before the aircraft can get used.


These are some incredibly valid points and I agree with you wholeheartedly.
 
Bluebell
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Re: Australian bushfires -why is the "global supertanker" not used

Mon Jan 13, 2020 9:12 am

RJMAZ wrote:
As an Australian it is pretty disappointing how little our military is doing. Rapid response is definitely not something the ADF is good at.

The Navy sent a ship that was days late. Where were the Chinooks? They were probably getting "maintenance". Our MRH-90 fleet is grounded...

It is ridiculous that the RAAF doesn't even have the modular fire fighting systems for their C-130's.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modular ... ing_System

Surely the system could also be scaled down to suit the agile C-27J. There was a 74 year old pilot that crashed one of the helicopters. It shows how incompetent the RAAF pilots must be when they elderly people doing most of the flying. I'm sure the admin staff in the RAAF have to do 2 years of risk assessments before the aircraft can get used.


MRH grounded ?, really Mmmm I suggest you do some research, parts of Army Aviation have been involved bush fire work since at least early Nov

Cheers Bluebell
 
timtam
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Re: Australian bushfires -why is the "global supertanker" not used

Mon Jan 13, 2020 3:14 pm

FYI.

Update from the ADF:

"The bushfire crisis is the Australian Defence Force’s main effort.

ADF personnel have been working with state and territory authorities since September 2019 to respond to Australia’s bushfire crisis. This support will continue for as long as needed.

More than 5000 full-time and reserve personnel are providing direct support in the field, at sea, in the air and from Defence bases across fire-affected regions.

More than 2700 reservists are supporting Operation Bushfire Assist. "


Another report:
A Royal Australian Navy MRH-90 helicopter spent the first day of catastrophic fire conditions on search and rescue missions to support firefighting efforts around Kempsey, New South Wales.

The helicopter kept ahead of the fire front to ensure property owners were well prepared and equipped for the approaching firestorm.

Flying low over properties in the direct path of the fire, the aircrew made hand signals to property owners and were prepared to evacuate any who did not give the ‘thumbs up’.

Lieutenant Commander Michael Cairncross piloted one of the first missions, making several landings for the specialist fire fighter on board to engage with community members.

“The MRH-90 has the capability to quickly move more people and equipment than fire-fighting helicopters can,” Lieutenant Commander Cairncross said.

“I have never witnessed the intensity of a firestorm engulfing an entire mountain in less than five minutes. “It was an extremely dynamic environment to fly in and challenging for the entire crew.


Another report:
"Four Australian and two Singaporean CH-47 Chinook helicopters are operating from RAAF Base East Sale to provide support to firefighting operations and humanitarian assistance to remote and isolated communities. Two of the Australian Chinooks will transfer to South Australia on January 13 to assist on Kangaroo Island."

An MRH-90 in action:
http://images.defence.gov.au/20200112ran8100087_094.jpg

A Chinook in action:
http://images.defence.gov.au/Photo%2011-1-20,%2013%2058%2026.jpg

Blackhawks and MRH-90 in action:
http://images.defence.gov.au/2020104adf8614011_132.jpg

MRH-90:
http://images.defence.gov.au/20191221ran8107437_128.jpg

Hercules transporting firefighters:
http://images.defence.gov.au/20191109raaf8526959_109.jpg

MRH-90:
http://images.defence.gov.au/20191221ran8107437_422.jpg
 
TYWoolman
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Re: Australian bushfires -why is the "global supertanker" not used

Mon Jan 13, 2020 6:20 pm

DIRECTFLT wrote:
SYDSpotter wrote:
DIRECTFLT wrote:
I was wondering why Australia wasn't using Osprey aircraft to evacuate people in remote areas. If they don't have some of these aircraft, they should get some.


Why does Australia need Osprey the specifically? What special characteristics over a normal helicopter make it essential to acquire?


I think you're right. On second thought, a large helicopter would do the trick!


Chinooks!
 
cpd
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Re: Australian bushfires -why is the "global supertanker" not used

Mon Jan 13, 2020 7:28 pm

RJMAZ wrote:
As an Australian it is pretty disappointing how little our military is doing. Rapid response is definitely not something the ADF is good at.

The Navy sent a ship that was days late. Where were the Chinooks? They were probably getting "maintenance". Our MRH-90 fleet is grounded...

It is ridiculous that the RAAF doesn't even have the modular fire fighting systems for their C-130's.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modular ... ing_System

Surely the system could also be scaled down to suit the agile C-27J. There was a 74 year old pilot that crashed one of the helicopters. It shows how incompetent the RAAF pilots must be when they elderly people doing most of the flying. I'm sure the admin staff in the RAAF have to do 2 years of risk assessments before the aircraft can get used.


I saw an MRH-90 flying over South Western Sydney the other week at about 9:15am in the morning. That says it isn’t grounded. Not sure where your info came from.
 
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VirginFlyer
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Re: Australian bushfires -why is the "global supertanker" not used

Mon Jan 13, 2020 8:01 pm

Without wanting to contribute to thread drift, I wonder if the P-8 could be easily modified to allow it to be a firefighting aircraft. Is there space for tankage to be installed in the forward hold, along with tankage and a dispenser mechanism in the bomb bay (in the read hold) and plumbing between the two? That could allow Australia to have an aircraft which can be tasked with firefighting but which isn’t sitting unused at other times of the year.



V/F
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Re: Australian bushfires -why is the "global supertanker" not used

Mon Jan 13, 2020 8:03 pm

brucetiki wrote:
cpd wrote:
Eagleboy wrote:
I doubt you can just "get some" Ospreys on Amazon or Ebay with a sub 6 month delivery deal.


As for the "global supertanket", I'm pretty sure that SYD is B747 capable. Might not be wholly suitable for FF ops but it's close enough.


Sydney is very close to most of the threatening fires around the Sydney region. Sydney takes heavy 747s no problem.


Where would you fit in the fire fighting flights in SYD though? SYD is pretty chokkas with passenger flights.

Given Sydney’s geography, Richmond is also more practical from a point of view of transit time to the fire danger areas.

V/F
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Aesma
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Re: Australian bushfires -why is the "global supertanker" not used

Mon Jan 13, 2020 8:22 pm

France has offered to send Canadairs but nothing came of it.
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