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Boeing 747 fire fighting

Discussion in 'The Pub' at netrider.net.au started by Chef, Mar 5, 2009.

  1. #1 Chef, Mar 5, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 13, 2015
    I was told about this today and thought i would share it for those who haven't come across it.


    It's an advertisement, but it's cool to watch.


  2. I want that job!!!!!!
  3. Would never work. The weight alone would not let it get off the ground let alone the maneouvarability (sp?) would also be a hinderance. That is why most aerial firefighting is done from helicopters.
  4. You didn't watch the attached clip did you Cam?
  5. Ah yes I did, but here at work the people genrally know a fair bit about aeroplanes and this exact conversation was raised a couple of weeks ago when all the fires here started.

    There have been extensive tests performed on the capabilites of using larger aircraft to help fight the fires and the weight issues alone and length of time to refill these larger planes proved to be uneconomical.

    Having said that, the B747 is such a beautiful plane to watch in flight.
  6. I bet you could talk the government into spending the fund money on these...... better then the uninsured. :eek:hno: :-w
  7. I'm afraid I'm a little lost then, you said above it would never get off the ground with that much weight on board.

  8. We should give one a try.
    I wouldn't mind seeing one in a "real life" situation.
  9. Only because they're (relatively) cheap.
    In other parts of the world the Russian IL-76 has proved very successful in fighting fires - and that's not exactly a small aircraft.
    In the US and Canada smaller fixed wing aircraft are also used extensively - possibly more so than helicopters (which lack the speed and range needed to reach remote areas).
  10. :shock:
    That's one hell of a tanker .. 24,000 Gallons

    I think Cam watched the wrong vid Cheffie :LOL:
  11. considering you can loop and wing over (the whole way round) a 747. there wouldnt be an issue with maneouvarability. those pigs have power also. the weight would be nothing to them.
    yes not used much due to cost.
  12. #12 2up, Mar 5, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 13, 2015
  13. Weight is not an issue. They would only load enough cargo (retardant in this case) to bring the aircraft up to maximum takeoff weight limit. Manoueverability is well proven up to max takeoff weight, beyond that you're a test pilot.

    I would think time-on-task would be a problem given that you would be limited to major airports due to the minimum runway length requirement for takeoff of a fully loaded 747. Yes a 747 can depart from smaller runways, but only at the cost of lower takeoff weight (ie: less cargo/fuel)

    I noted the video didn't mention how long is needed to refill the retardant tanks. Not something they wanted to talk about, huh?

    I wouldn't be surprised if you looked at the amount/distance of retardant dropped over a period of time that it would be alot closer to that a helicopter or smaller aircraft could do just by being able to refill locally.

    I agree though, it would be a fun job to fly that thing
  14. #14 Chef, Mar 5, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 13, 2015
    This has some rather spectacular footage in it too, although is doesn't involve any crashing or death.


    The Fire-Gel and other 'related' chemicals are interesting as well. I did a couple of weeks work for a local company bottling 'Class A' firefighting foam while the fires were at their peak. The politics behind the scene is a bit of a joke.
    Without understanding the implications of the health risks associated with using the chemicals in populated areas, I get the impression that the U.S. is much farther ahead in this field than we are.

    ...and i'll just throw this up as a bit of eye-candy cos i like it.

  15. good point. you cant fill it up in a dam.
  16. Weight of what??

    Don't assume water.
    The video states "fire retardant", which can be a powder, other liquid, or water-based mixtures.
    Colloidal foaming agents greatly improve the efficiency of water in fire-fighting; whilst improving the evaporation rate [from a fire-fighting perspective].
  17. My impression is that although there is a distinct disadvantage in terms of re-charging the craft for doing return trips, the advantage is in the pay load once it arrives.

    When we're talking about 100km long fire fronts that are un-fightable because of there remoteness to water supplies, and the smaller bombers not being able to put a dent in them with each drop, then the big bombers may come into their own.

    Also it's possible that with the retardants on board, they may be able to create more effective fire breaks for containment than we're currently doing now.

    I'm not trying to say the 747 is a solution by any means. I'm only looking at it from an interest point of view.

    In the advertisement it's considered a part of a solution and another weapon in the arsenal. Which i took to mean, there are only some scenarios where it would be viable.
  18. Smaller planes can use lakes though
  19. Absolutely! Any use of aerial equipment in remote areas can only help. I was not suggesting the 747 shouldn't be used, merely raising issues I see with the advertising material.

    An amusing picture comes to mind though, when the Air-Controller at a fire scene has to issue trucks with "wake turbulance" warnings from the "Heavy"(aviation jargon for the larger aircraft types)
  20. Hell yeah. Could just about blow some fires out.

    The folk who have witnessed 'elvis' and his friends first hand have been left with quite an impression. It would pale by comparison to see a jumbo flying 400 foot off the ground dumping water though.