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red750

NSW Boeing 737 Fire Bomber

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Just now, Old Koreelah said:

I know where a couple of them have been sitting idle for months, along with a pilot highly experienced in water bombing.

 

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There's something like 90 Air Tractor 802's in the country plus a few high capacity Thrush's, at a guess I would say 2/3's would be on standby for fires in an Australian summer. That number might not be used, depends on the person running the fire attack plan, not all know how to utilise all in their arsenal of equipment and the capability of fixed wing fire attack.

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The Qld premier / government are now making noises about Qld having a fire fighting 737 too !

 

Whether a good idea or not - we trust that appropriate benefit analysis ? will dictate what aircraft are purchased

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This beast is the best look at what it can do and in the winter.

The CL 415 was brought out to Australia (guess) 20 years ago and gave demonstration's to government and the head of QLD and NSW fire fighters.  you could have had Five of them for around 110 mill back then.  

You would never guess why they we never ordered by the stupid government federal or state. Guess. Huge mistake  people in power make,  as they saw them as a threat to their power and kingdoms.

Edited by SSCBD

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CL415 still only carry 6000 litres, that's 2 Fireboss loads, we currently have maybe 8 Fireboss in this country now operating. They are the float version of the 802, we also have vitually unlimited number (80+) of wheeld 802's available that carry 3000 litre loads of retardand or water. The wheeled 802's can operate off highways or airstrips. They are the most under utilised firefighting  asset in Australia.

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Friend at work yesterday was telling me about seeing the 802 Fire Boss's in action at the Great Lakes here in Tassie.  He reckoned they were amazing.  One low pass of the lake and then touching down in a fast run to scoop the water.

 

I think you're right Glenn - I love the Canadair but for "bang for buck" I reckon the Air Tractor has it beat.

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Thoughts on the Beriev Be 200?

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beriev_Be-200

 

I see it like this:

 

Pros: 12000 Litre capacity. Able to scoop water at near takeoff speed rather than always land/refill, but can still land/refill to use retardant. Water scooping, 12000 Litre capacity and 300kn cruising speed makes for ridiculously good turn around time for coastal fires or any fires where longish rivers are available. High non wing mounted turbofans to avoid spray and increase pure wing surface area.

 

Cons: If using runway it must be 1800m long or more. If using water the body of water must be 2300m or more and 2.5m deep. I doubt the Russian parts/supply chain locally is as good as Boeing parts/supply chain. If local pilots are going to be used, training required. In any case regarding spares/pilots, likely quite expensive.

Edited by Sardaukar2488

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I have worked with Choppers fighting fires with the CFA. They have changed the way we fight fires. Many times when we think we have lost control of a fire front they will hit a rough patch of country that we can't get access too, getting it back in control.

We have a permanent Heli fire chopper based at Bendigo 40 ks from us and most times it is operating at the fire front before local trucks get there.

I agree with Bex, People have to learn that they are responsible for their own safety. If we attend a fire we need access and a clear space to operate around houses. I (as a driver ) will not put my crew in danger trying to reach a burning residence surrounded by trees, long grass with only a narrow access no through  road.

As the saying goes " you make your own luck ".

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6 hours ago, bexrbetter said:

You mean like when are people going to stop building wooden houses in the middle of the bush.

And SERIOUS fuel reduction burning... 

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Plenty of wooden houses survived with burnt out brick veneer all around them. I know because my kids were in the wooden one. The fires at Mt Macedon melted copper pipes 2 feet or more in the ground. The house in question was 2 story and painted white. Small burning areas were extinguished with hot water from the  mains pressure hot water system that had lost pressure, with buckets and mops. Nev

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Yes we could burn everything that can burn and end up with no carbon in the soil at all just like the Sahara desert where there are NO bushfires, just sandstorms that engulf everything. Nev

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35 minutes ago, Arron25 said:

And SERIOUS fuel reduction burning... 

Since this has to be done when fires don't burn properly it would be a serious amount of smoke. Have seen the Sydney basin filled with smoke from just a few hazard reductions. 

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3 minutes ago, facthunter said:

Yes we could burn everything that can burn and end up with no carbon in the soil at all just like the Sahara desert where there are NO bushfires, just sandstorms that engulf everything. Nev

We don't have to go down that path.

People trot out the old "government/council should be burning the fuel load"  but the magnitude of doing that for every farm and every house is beyond our ability to pay (through taxes), and we then get some of the things you're alluding to.

Like the road toll, people think there's a single solution.

 

I was one of the people calling for more burning in the off season until I realised how impossible that was because of weather conditions when the material was dry enough to burn, with some fires getting out of control, or the fuel load not being suitable for burning when the weather was cold and wet etc. , but what drove it home was Ash Wednesday out in the grass areas of Western Victoria and the South East of South Australia. Before Roundup we burnt the paddocks every year, so had to keep the fuel load down with stock grazing. When summer fires did start, we could fight them from the front if we had to; they never got near the houses which had big lawns and lucerne as a buffer, and as a gauge, if you wanted to, you could run through the fire front without being burnt. In the Ash Wednesday fires high winds were the blow torch. I phoned my brother the night before, and his wife was packing the car to evacuate the house which was unheard of.  I phoned a friend in western Victoria and the phone was dead, phoned another one, same thing, phoned another one, same thing. All had lost their properties except one house which was saved. One of them received a phone call from a relative telling him the fire was going past his place towards my friends place 15 km away and to get out fast. By the time he and his wife got into the ute the fire was there and they had to charge down a dirt road until the felt the bitumen of the main road. In that particular fire, the fuel load became irrelevant.

 

In this weeks fires, embers, which normally fly up into the air and come down a kilometre or two ahead of the wire were reported to be travelling more than 30 km and starting new spot fires. What happens with a high fuel load is that where it is high you get a concentrated hot spot which tends to burn itself out. It's certainly dangerous as a radiation source next to a house or vehicle where most people are killed, but tends to be less relevant in a running fire.

 

 

What usually causes  bush and grass fires is not old growth but lightning, accidents (power lines touching trees, mower/slasher failures. angle grinders, welders etc.)

 

In recent years, governments have caused additional fires with the ridiculous pantomimes of Premier and Emergency services complete with deaf signer exciting the unbalanced in the community to go out and see what might happen if they light a small fire.

 

This was the case in Gippsland on Black Saturday when the TV channels broadcast that from the next day we were going to have severe bushfire conditions with the temperature going over 40 degrees. It was like a surf report to firebugs.

 

In the fires this week there was one report of 12 fires deliberately lit following the same high density circus from government, and then the Victorian government with no fires and a lot of green grass chimed in with a serious faced Premier warning us of dire risks.

 

Then we have the Climate Change brigade. Fires don't just happen on hot windy days; plenty of houses have been lost in autumn and spring during load reduction operations. The fuel load of dry sticks and grasses is ready to go at any time, and joined by dry grass in the dry season and can and has wiped out houses in all types of temperatures and at night, so even if you accept the science of climate change, matching big fires like Ash Wednesday, Black Saturday and this weeks NSW and Qld fires. A good wet season will usually produce a much bigger dry grass load, but the frequency of fires is based on who has an accident plus who deliberately lights one plus when lightning strikes.

 

The people who fight the fires on the trucks, the Councils which administer fire breaks, the people who lost homes could probably add a whole lot more to these comments, but just burning our paddocks to dry ground at the start of each summer is not the one single solution that some people claim.

 

 

 

 

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30 minutes ago, Thruster88 said:

Since this has to be done when fires don't burn properly it would be a serious amount of smoke. Have seen the Sydney basin filled with smoke from just a few hazard reductions. 

This is a good point; these days we are aware that PM10 and PM2.5 particulates cause lung cancer and a lot of people die blaming smoking cigarette or passive smoke inhalation, but these particulates take their toll too.

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 The burning of scrub etc has been so politicised, it's become impossible to sensibly discuss it. Grass can grow very quickly in spring if there's enough rain and even green grass can burn well as does cypress and eucalypt trees which have vast quantities of oils in them. Windbreaks and left alone roadside growth take the fires past eaten down or mown fields to houses. Radiant heat from intense fire has to be experienced to be believed but once a relatively low/medium intensity fire has passed through you can drive over  that area if you are careful and have the right vehicle. Unfortunately lots of car bits underneath are made of near cardboard and flammable plastic Fuel lines. IF you have a safe place to stay for around 20 minutes you  can often  emerge ,tidy up and prevent small ignition events turning into house destroying events if you have some water  in large garbage bins and green tree branches and mops and hoses etc. Leaving your house at a later stage to go WHERE? mixed up in smoke and wildly and blindly driving cars or trees falling across the only road to safety.. The bits that spot Kms ahead are often near whole tree branches that "back burning" (so called  often but it isn't) would not prevent. Regrowth from previous fires is often far more dense than the original it replaced  and often in a modified form with more nuisance plants weeds etc and you often cannot even walk through it, the trees are so close together... Timbered slopes are likely to get the worst heat as they create their own wind to add to the prevailing wind and create a hell on earth experience no one can cope with. Nev

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Hot, very strong winds from interior regions, coupled with high temperatures, make for fires that are unstoppable, even in lightly timbered areas.

The problem comes with people in charge of firefighting agencies and fire protection, who don't understand fire mechanisms.

In the devastating Yarloop (W.A.) fire of Jan 2016, we had people in charge of the firefighting agency who had inadequate experience and skills, to realise the day was going to be an ultra-extreme fire risk.

The weather on the day comprised strong, hot, NE winds, coupled with temperatures that reached 43 deg at Perth Airport. A dry lightning strike started the fire in the Darling Range, SE of Perth.

Wind picks up speed on the downside of any raised obstruction, and the wind was coming over the Darling Range hills from the NE, and picking up speed down the escarpment.

The fire increased in size very rapidly, and started its own ember storms, which swept down off the escarpment, through largely-cleared rural country, at a speed that stunned virtually everyone.

It became unstoppable, despite the heroic actions of many on-ground firefighters, aerial bombers, and individuals. It was a sobering lesson, and led to a substantial revamp of fire and associated agencies in W.A.

 

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-01-21/yarloop-bushfires-before-and-after/7100968

 

https://knowledge.aidr.org.au/resources/bushfire-waroona-yarloop-fire-2016/

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Came across this headline the other day; "Lockheed Martin expects certification and first delivery for LM-100J before year-end" (2019)

I have admired the Hercules aircraft since they first took to the air in the late 1950's

Their new LM-100J will be a valuable aircraft now in private industry once the deliveries start.

The one thing I can't understand with Lockheed is their tunnel vision for other massive potential uses the LM-100J could have had if they had gone back to their drawing board of the mid 60's.

Back then they tested the idea of producing the C130 as an amphibian.


Now that these aircraft are being made available for private enterprise I would have thought in this day and age an amphibian would be far more useful.

They have already crunched the numbers back then so they would be 75% in front.

All the Islands throughtout the world that dont have airstrips available to them would be able to benifit from freight delivered by plane rather than boats, and the fire bombing capibilities of an amphibian Hercules would outweigh the land base Herucles aircraft; then there is the search and rescue abilities that would again outweigh the land based version.

We have just (and still) going through the worst fire season on record and a fleet of these amphibian Herc's would have astonshing results.

The water bombers that have been fighing our bush fires here in Australia are doing an excellent job, but more water means quicker results.

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Edited by Blackhawk

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If there is a close by water supply that can be scooped up amphibians have got to be the way to go. The Canadair CL415 only carries 6000 litres but it has a fast turnaround & can deliver 100,000 litre an hour which is about 16 loads.

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29 minutes ago, kgwilson said:

If there is a close by water supply that can be scooped up amphibians have got to be the way to go. The Canadair CL415 only carries 6000 litres but it has a fast turnaround & can deliver 100,000 litre an hour which is about 16 loads.

They must be getting water from a lake that's beside the fire; it works out to 3.6 minutes per load ??

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Amphibians are not good at lifting loads off water, especially when it's calm and always have a drag penalty over conventional planes due keel shape and high thrust lines for the engines requiring strong downloads on the horiz stab and elevators. AS I've said a few times here sweep back of the wings is a real bad idea for low level low speed flight in turbulence. It's only there to push the subsonic cruise speed higher which has no relevence to fire fighting or operation below about FL 280.  Nev

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The basic problem is that there is a huge difference between Australia and Canada - and even the U.S. and Russia - when it comes to utilising large water-scooping aircraft for firefighting.

That simple problem is, in Australia there is a major lack of large bodies of relatively fresh water, to enable water-scooping by aircraft.

Canada is the exact opposite, it is 90% freshwater lakes, and even the U.S. and Russia have substantial lake areas to scoop up water from.

The available water in most fire-hit areas, is in farm-style dams - which can provide adequate water for firefighting - but not enough surface area to be able to utilise water-scooping aircraft.

You cannot use seawater for firefighting, it causes serious environmental damage, and the sea is rarely smooth enough to scoop water from with an aircraft, anyway.

As a result, the smaller firebombing aircraft, and helicopters, will remain the most effective aerial fire-fighting tools for us in the near future, until some other advanced technology is developed.

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I would think the Elvis type of appliance is best suited but choppers are real expensive to operate. The poor buggers flying little stuff risk their lives just as much and really don't get anything like as much on the fire. Structural failures in reused old airliners are not uncommon. They are NOT exceptionally strong and have already had  hard life.  Nev

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1 hour ago, onetrack said:

You cannot use seawater for firefighting, it causes serious environmental damage

An the fire retardant doesn't? A small amount of salt water wont do any lasting damage.

Five years ago ago I sat and watched as the fire front ran along the overgrown roadside vegetation. It was a long time before the paddocks burned. This was also the case in the Wangary fires a decade earlier when the fire ran at upto 60km/hr. I South Australian CFS stats show that about 50% of fires start on roadsides. Thus it follows that many fires could be prevented by simply management of the roadsides. It used to happen but the we had a green revolution.

But with a month of media beating up  the drought, fires, first in the US then on the east coast, the climate extinction people, 11,000 scientists (of which only about 240 hold qualifications in anything remotely climate related) saying we are all doomed it is little wonder the crazies are out in force lighting fires.

End of this rant

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