Firefighting supertanker

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by Tantalum, Dec 28, 2017.

  1. Tantalum

    Tantalum Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2017
    Messages:
    2,021
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    San_Diego_Pilot
    Just thought I'd post this, there's a cool cockpit video too in there too about 2 minutes in. The 747 has gotten some positive press here in Southern California recently fighting fires. Awesome. I'll have to replace "astronaut" with this as my dream job. Love that there isn't a bunch of tacky music and narration too

     
    Velocity173 and SkyDog58 like this.
  2. Croomrider

    Croomrider Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2014
    Messages:
    142
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Mike
    Nice, big birds make for big dumps!
     
  3. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2007
    Messages:
    14,938
    Location:
    Catawba, NC
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    FlyingRon
    A good friend of mine is one of the pilots on the GST. Originally, a JAL plane, the thing was leased to Evergreen until they folded up. Marcos was an Evergreen captain and has the most hours of anybody in that particular aircraft. 19000 gallons of water at a time. It can be refueled and reloaded in less than 30 minutes.
     
    Tantalum likes this.
  4. Sac Arrow

    Sac Arrow Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    May 11, 2010
    Messages:
    14,947
    Location:
    Oakland, CA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Eight Balla
    That and the DC10 was flying in and out of McClellan directly overhead all through the Norcal fires.
     
    Tantalum likes this.
  5. Tantalum

    Tantalum Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2017
    Messages:
    2,021
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    San_Diego_Pilot
    So that works out to 159,000 lbs

    So:
    empty: 410,700 lbs
    full fuel: 363,000 lbs
    full water: 159,000 lbs
    take off weight: 933,000 lbs... just over max takeoff of 910,000 lbs. I bet though, that for most firefighting operations, the thing has very little fuel in it, so I wonder why they didn't use that opportunity to get even more water in it? Maybe the assumption was that it would be flying low to the ground so they want it to have a fairly wide performance window

    Either way, pretty boggling!

    From Boeing:
    upload_2017-12-28_16-3-53.png
     
  6. JCranford

    JCranford Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2015
    Messages:
    2,096
    Location:
    North TX
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    JCranford
    That's pretty cool. Bet they were running that thing non-stop in CA
     
  7. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2007
    Messages:
    14,938
    Location:
    Catawba, NC
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    FlyingRon
    Yeah, that was a transpacific passenger/freighter. I doubt that it's ever going to see full fuel capacity again.

    The used it in Chile early last year and CalFire was the first to contract with them in the US. The US Forest Service was placing arbitrary roadblocks in front of its use federally for a while (it was argued that they were protecting the incumbent, smaller-aircraft, contractors) but that I believe has been now straightened out. Still, California still gets their first allegiance at this point since they're already actively under contract there.
     
  8. Paulie

    Paulie Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2014
    Messages:
    552
    Location:
    Naples fl
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    paulie
    Actually they complain that the don't get enough flying time, they only do ridge tops not allowed into the valleys. I worked for 10 tanker and they flew way below gross, no interior, only fuel for at most two runs.
    Coulson has purchased 737s from Southwest that they're converting and the politics of who gets the contracts is fierce.
    There's also a couple if super 80s converted for fire fighting.
    I'm pretty sure this is not the Evergreen airplane.
    There is also talk of limiting tankers to 5000 gallons, hence the Coulson buy. DC10 carries 12000 and the 747 around 20000.
     
  9. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2007
    Messages:
    14,938
    Location:
    Catawba, NC
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    FlyingRon
    I'm pretty sure it is. It was a JAL plane originally that later was leased to Evergreen. After Evergreen folded, the owner decided to develop it as the GST. As I stated, mi amigo Marcos has the most hours of anybody in that particular airframe as he flew it regularly as an Evergreen captain.
     
  10. kyleb

    kyleb En-Route

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2008
    Messages:
    3,679
    Location:
    Marietta, GA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Drake the Outlaw
    Any idea of the logic behind such a move? Seems foolish to me to create arbitrary limits which put boundaries on the tools available.
     
  11. Paulie

    Paulie Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2014
    Messages:
    552
    Location:
    Naples fl
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    paulie
    Politics. 10 tanker has a former interior department guy. I can only imagine it's for the connections. There's insane amounts of money to be made in aviation fire fighting even when the planes are sitting on the ground. Exclusive use contracts. I spent months in Australia with 10 tanker doing nothing but a weekly test flight. Of course when they fly there's more money made.
     
  12. kyleb

    kyleb En-Route

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2008
    Messages:
    3,679
    Location:
    Marietta, GA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Drake the Outlaw
    So, the small tanker guys have been making bigger payoffs for longer? ;-)
     
    Cykoguy likes this.
  13. Paulie

    Paulie Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2014
    Messages:
    552
    Location:
    Naples fl
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    paulie
    Don't know, but it's certainly less expensive to have a few guys and air tractors than a crew and support for a 10. Also more opportunities for work for the small planes.
     
  14. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2007
    Messages:
    14,938
    Location:
    Catawba, NC
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    FlyingRon
    They had done this (got repealed). THere was no logic other than to keep the jet guys from competing with the existing contractors.
     
  15. Dan Thomas

    Dan Thomas En-Route

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2008
    Messages:
    4,490
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Dan Thomas
    I worked for a short while on Electra tankers. Turboprops. The pilots liked them because they could pull the power back for a downhill run into a valley, but the RPM stayed up while the props went flatter to keep airspeed where they wanted it, and as soon as they wanted to climb after the dump the thrust was all there, right now. Jets take time to spool up and they won't hold the airplane back. And something as big as a 747 has a lot of inertia, too. The company was going to start converting BAE 146s to tankers but the pilots were a bit concerned. Haven't heard how that's worked out.
     
  16. kyleb

    kyleb En-Route

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2008
    Messages:
    3,679
    Location:
    Marietta, GA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Drake the Outlaw
    No doubt the smaller tankers have more (and more frequent) applications. However, the day may come where you need the big boy. Why would someone administratively block that?
     
  17. Paulie

    Paulie Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2014
    Messages:
    552
    Location:
    Naples fl
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    paulie
    My concern with the 10 is that the CF6 that they're using has a 50 cycle turbine borescope requirement. I asked the pilots how they get out of a valley and it's slam the power forward and pull hard. Turbines don't like to be accelerated quickly (this is not a fadec engine) and if one is going to come apart that's when it'll happen. I always hated working on 10s because if it had a engine problem it seemed like it was always #2. It's nasty up there on the patio, and dangerous without proper support equipment.
     
  18. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2007
    Messages:
    14,938
    Location:
    Catawba, NC
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    FlyingRon
    Indeed, the conventional rules about flying drops based on piston and even turboprop planes have to be modified when you're flying something the the -10 or 747. The GST guys were refining dropping on the climb rather than the descent.
     
  19. Paulie

    Paulie Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2014
    Messages:
    552
    Location:
    Naples fl
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    paulie
    I wouldn't ride on the 10 but on a training flight I rode in a chase plane filming the 10 doing a drop. We were as close as the pilot dared, off the aft left side, it was something to be that close to a big airplane 200 feet off the deck.
     
  20. Tantalum

    Tantalum Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2017
    Messages:
    2,021
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    San_Diego_Pilot
    I was surprised frankly by seeing the 10 and 747 being used as extensively as they are, and in some of the videos you can really hear the throttles being jockeyed quite a bit. Imagine that puts a lot of abuse on them

    I am pretty sure I saw a video somewhere of BAE 146s doing drops

    For fire fighting applications props do seem to make some more sense, imagine seeing a DASH 7 doing drops? Heck, the Air Greenland ones are already basically in the right paint scheme!
    upload_2018-1-3_0-31-49.png
     
  21. Paulie

    Paulie Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2014
    Messages:
    552
    Location:
    Naples fl
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    paulie
    Bae 146 already being used as tankers, saw them in Washington last year. Don't know operator, may be Canadian.
     
  22. GRG55

    GRG55 En-Route

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2015
    Messages:
    4,806
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Aztec Flyer
    Conair in Abbotsford, BC converts the BAE 146. Interesting system they have as they strip the interior to get weight off, but the drop tank itself is an exterior add on that wraps around the mid-fuselage and does not breech the pressure hull.
     
  23. Paulie

    Paulie Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2014
    Messages:
    552
    Location:
    Naples fl
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    paulie
    DC 10 same way. They are -30 models with the center gear removed. Tanks hang from belly. They were originally designed for helicopters. I think the 747 is internal and the c-130 versions the military have are on a pallet they roll in. Some tanks are pressurized to get the fluid out, the 10 is gravity alone.
     
  24. Paulie

    Paulie Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2014
    Messages:
    552
    Location:
    Naples fl
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    paulie
    A neighbor at the airport has dedicated air tractors for fire, he really cashes in during season. Anyone need a job flying air tractors he's always looking for pilots. Based KIMM.
     
  25. Busflyer

    Busflyer Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2013
    Messages:
    200
    Location:
    Mid Tenn
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Busflyer
    542000 max zero fuel weight- 410700 BOW leaves 131300 for payload.