1. #1
    Truckie from Missouri
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Thumbs up A-10's as wildfire attack bombers

    Check out http://www.firehogs.com This group wants to take retired A-10's to convert to fire service attack planes for use on wild fires. They're a lot more maneuverable than any other bomber currently in use in the fire service.

    Cool, huh?


    ------------------
    Proud Member of IAFF Local 3133!

    Stay safe.

    Ken

    ***DISCLAIMER***
    All postings I have &/or will post are strictly my opinions. I am representing only myself here, not the IAFF, Local 3133, or my employer. No animals were/will be harmed from the production of this disclaimer. Thank you.
    ***END OF DISCLAIMER***

  2. #2
    Bj
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Exclamation

    The guy who is in charge, Ed Herlick thinks that the BLM should be in charge of the SWI in the western U.S. That right there should tell you all you need to know.

    ------------------
    don't tell someone how to do something, tell them what to do and they will suprise you with their ingenuity

    [This message has been edited by Bj (edited February 09, 2000).]

  3. #3
    Truckie from Missouri
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Question

    Ummm, ok, plese excuse my ignorance and educate me.

    My wild fire experiences have been mainly ground cover fires in oak forests and open field fires. I consider myself fortunate that I don't regularly deal with the large California style fires.

    Your comment on the BLM issue is interesting. Would you care to enlighten me?

    Thanks,
    Ken
    Local 3133

  4. #4
    monte
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    BLM .... isn't that Bureau of Large Mistakes?

  5. #5
    Truckie from Missouri
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Cool

    I think you hit the nail on the head Monte!

    Ken
    Local 3133

  6. #6
    OCFireEXP
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Cool

    as a military school cadet, and pilot, i can tell you that it is a little far fetched. but it would be pretty cool! if they can make it work, rest assured, ill be first in line for an application to fly it!

    Joe

  7. #7
    calpyro
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    I work for the California Dept. of Forestry and Fire Protection and I have some indirect knowledge of Aero tech. This BLM fellow has a BIG pipe dream, a cool looking web site and nothing else. He has been trying to sell our Department his air tanker fantasy for several years by bad talking our tanker program. CDF operates 23 airtankers and has the most successful airtanker program in the world. When our Department looked closer into the issue of using A10ís we found that the planes are not available, the armor is an integral part of the airframe which cannot be removed to lighten the craft and accommodate a retardant tank. If we were going to use A10's, this fellow would not be involved. It sounds like a neat idea, but unfortunately it is not going to happen. http://www.fire.ca.gov/pdf/S-2T2.pdf (Airtanker) http://www.fire.ca.gov/cdf_fp_airfight.html (CDF Air program)


    [This message has been edited by calpyro (edited February 21, 2000).]

  8. #8
    Bj
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Talking

    Some clarification... Ed Herlick does not work for BLM. He is a commercial airline pilot (says he was a pilot retired from the Air Force) And he his the figure head/whipping boy for Areotech Ltd. the company pushing the "firehog" It is Ed Herlick's SUGGESTION the BLM be responsible for all the SWI in the western (probably eastern) United States, including California.

  9. #9
    Bj
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Talking

    Some clarification... Ed Herlick does not work for BLM. He is a commercial airline pilot (says he was a pilot retired from the Air Force) And he his the figure head/whipping boy for Areotech Ltd. the company pushing the "firehog" It is Ed Herlick's SUGGESTION the BLM be responsible for all the SWI in the western (probably eastern) United States, including California.

  10. #10
    monte
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Some other thoughts regarding air tankers; the cost of doing business, fire suppression with air support, is incredibly expensive. When fires get large, as they did in n Calif., Oregon, NV last year, air support will contribute to 25%-60% of the daily fire cost. It makes sense then to look at where we get the best use of tax payer money. That seems to be in initial attack, quick response. Spend $500,000 here (lets say state wide) and be successful, you probably saved $30-$75 million in a fire season like last year. Small highly manuverable aircraft that require a small, simple, and mobile support system makes sense to help initial attack. We are seeing just the thing, SEAT (small engine air tankers) capable of dropping a few hundred gallons of retardent, highly manuverable, very mobile, small ground support organization.

    Type and kind of aircraft is important. But this is the current direction. A good concept, but with anything we do as a bureaucracy, we are bound to screw it up with "free enterprise politics", agency politics, and the "I thinks".

  11. #11
    J.Watt
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    One of Herlick's selling points is that the A-10 would be able to drop at night and in smoke because of it's adavanced bombing system. In real life there is a lot of "touch" that a good air tanker pilot has to adjust to wind shifts and turbulence while completing the run at 150' above the vegetation. It would be great if we could drop safely at night or drive through smoke but that has yet to be proven. L.A. County and the USFS were into night vision goggles for helicopters years ago but that was hard on aircrews plus it required two pilots, one on NVG and one as the safety pilot.
    I've directed drops from our new S2T and am very impressed with it capabilities. Our cost is 2.3 million to rebuild the S2. The Firehog is many millions more than that.
    Regarding the post about IA effectiveness, the S2T has a payload of 1,200 gallons which is about the bare minimum I'd like to see. However, when you need to build line its really nice to have the federal large air tankers available. Having a size mix is best.

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