1. #1
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    Default Jumbo jet tanker conversion

    I would love to see that come in and dump over a fire!

    US company transforms Boeing 747 into aerial firefighter

    Thu Jun 1, 3:59 PM ET

    SAN BERNARDINO, United States (AFP) - A US company demonstrated to local officials here how the Boeing 747 jet they modified to carry water would revolutionize the way fires are doused from the air.
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    The plane, a giant 747-200 cargo dubbed the Evergreen Supertanker, was stripped of its seats and modified to carry more than 75,000 liters (20,000 gallons) of water.

    The Supertanker carries more than seven times the load of the Lockheed P-3 Orion aerial water bombers currently used in aerial firefighting, according to the manufacturers, Evergreen International Airlines, Inc.

    Evergreen, based in the northwestern state of Oregon, has invested 40 million dollars in the project. They are currently touring major cities showing off the sole prototype.

    On Wednesday the tour stopped in San Bernardino, a city 110 kilometers (68 miles) east of Los Angeles. The city was hit hard by widlfires in 2003.

    The plane is equipped with four 40-centimeter (16-inch) nozzles to release the liquid, instead of a trap door used in the Orions.

    This allows the airplane to make multiple drops on different fires in a single mission, said Danny Clisham, one of the pilots who has worked on the prototype for more than three years.

    "We can refill and refuel in 37 minutes," Clisham said. He added that the 75,000-liter (20,000-gallon) payload "is still way below the maximum load of that plane."

    The plane can also disperse fire retardant under high pressure or drop the retardant at the speed of falling rain, officials said.

    The plane must still be approved by federal aviation authorities and Forest Service authorities.

    In the demonstration run Wednesday, the giant plane flew a mere 500 feet (152 meters) above the city airport, then released its load over a several hundred meter (yard) area.

    Evergreen vice president Sam White said he hopes to see his plane in service by August 1, just in time for the start of the fire season in California.

    Gary Suozzi with the
    Federal Aviation Administration was impressed. "That's a lot of water. It's a good concept," he opined.

    Mike Padilla, the chief of aviation with the California Department of Forestry Fire Protection, was a bit more circumspect. "It surely has a lot of potential, but we can't say it's the silver bullet," he said. "We're not sure how to use it."
    slideshow:
    http://news.yahoo.com/photo/060601/p...YzBHNlYwN0bXA-
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tbonetrexler
    I would love to see that come in and dump over a fire!



    slideshow:
    http://news.yahoo.com/photo/060601/p...YzBHNlYwN0bXA-

    There was something like this on Discovery, History or one of those channels. This thing looks pretty ridiculous.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RFRDxplorer
    This thing looks pretty ridiculous.

    So doesn't "Tactical Tupperware", but if it works....Why not?
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    There's a little more info on Evergreen Aviation's website.
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    I read an article in a magazine about a company that was doing something similar with blimps. The pictures and description of the blimp showed a standard large blimp but the bottom of the blimp was all nozzles and the top had a large "pool-like" structure built into it allowing for it to hover over a fire while loaded with water and can be refilled by air drops from traditional wildland fire fighting planes so it can continually "rain" over an area to function as fire supression or protection by hydrating a dry area to aid in containment. This was a few years ago and I have not heard of anything new regarding the above technology, but personally I would have to say it looks and sounds like it would work.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaSharkie
    So doesn't "Tactical Tupperware", but if it works....Why not?

    Yeah, ive got some tactical tupperware......but I meant ridiculous as in kinda sweet kinda amazing.
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    Cool I have seen this plane.....

    I have personally seen this plane (at least I think I have). I believe it is being developed at S.C.L.A. (Southern California Logistics Airport). Having numerous friends and colleagues that currently work for Victorville Fire Department, I have had an opportunity to get up close and personal with this aircraft and its makers.........
    The capabilities of this aircraft are awesome, to say the least. I only hope that it performs as well as the testing has shown.... we all know that testing is just that and true fire weather and conditions that are not controlled may act and react totally different.
    I have not heard of any real negatives other than the size of the aircraft makes it almost impossible to use in small valleys..... but that is what rotary wing aircraft are for.
    As an Engineer in Southern California, I can't wait to see it perform in real situations.
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    Having flown C141s (4 engine but much smaller) I would expect this 747 to be making drops from a much higher altitude Than what we have been using. If rain will help, this may be able to suport those on the ground.
    Stay Safe ~ The Dragon Still Bites!

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    Quote Originally Posted by 5pts384
    Having flown C141s (4 engine but much smaller) I would expect this 747 to be making drops from a much higher altitude Than what we have been using. If rain will help, this may be able to suport those on the ground.
    According to their website, drops will be from 400 to 800 feet and at about 140 knots.
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    I've had C130s drop on me from at least that elevation, and the retardant comes down in a slow kind of rain....however it coats the ground and stops the fire which is what it's supposed to do.

    Birken

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    I wish i could see that thing in action, i mean its going be surreal to see this huge plane flying low and slow dropping on a fire. I am a big aviation buff too and its always cool to see the stuff they come up with, like the Fire Cobra, the converted AH-1 Cobra attack helicopters. I know Russia has a ridiculously huge jet tanker, an Ilyushin-76, that they offered to use to help out with some fires we had a year or two ago but we turned it down. Politics. It could drop 10,000 gallons.

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