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   xoxoxoBruce  Wednesday May 28 03:00 AM

May 28, 2008: Bombing Wildfires

A new system of fighting wildfires.

The packages falling from the back of a C-123 cargo plane were delivering what could soon be help to crews fighting wildfires across the country. The Precision Container Aerial Delivery Systems boxes each had 250 gallons of fire retardant.

The system, demonstrated May 7 in Kingman, Ariz., can make firefighting more effective and less expensive, substantially expand the fleet of aircraft that can fight fires, and allow direct airdrops onto fires around-the-clock.

PCADS comprises triple-walled corrugated cardboard boxes with a plastic bladder inside. The box lid is attached to the bladder with straps. The lid, acting like a small parachute both slows the decent, and also pulls the straps that rip open the bag releasing the water or fire retardant.

"PCADS gives firefighters a broad range of benefits," said William Cleary, Boeing PCADS program manager. "It can be used on any cargo plane with a rear cargo ramp, vastly expanding the fleet of available aircraft.

Since the system delays the opening of the bladders, they can be dropped from a higher altitude, over any terrain using GPS, which also means safe 24 hour operations. That’s something the current tanker fleet can’t do."

"Given that fires in the Western U.S. alone are estimated to have cost more than $1 billion in damage and firefighting expenses in both 2006 and 2007, PCADS could have huge benefits in saving lives, property and money," said Ben Curtis, PCADS lead for Weyerhaeuser.

Bob Ferguson photo

In the case of a huge fire threatening population centers, being able to press any rear ramp plane into the fray, without equipping them with tanks and plumbing, would be a big advantage.

Scriveyn  Wednesday May 28 04:12 AM

Chemical AirLInes

xoxoxoBruce  Wednesday May 28 12:23 PM

Here's a Black Spruce, going up like a Roman Candle, at an Alaska wildfire last week. Very quick, very hot, very dangerous to get near.

glatt  Wednesday May 28 12:34 PM

I was just reading an article in the Washington Post this morning that said that a new USDA commissioned report has found that the effects of global warming are already being felt in the United States, and that the increase in wild fires out West is due to global warming.

Forests in the interior West, the Southwest, and Alaska are already being affected by climate change with increases in the size and frequency of forest fires, insect outbreaks and tree mortality. These changes are expected to continue.

weiwei  Friday May 30 11:32 PM


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hijk553  Wednesday Jun 18 01:06 PM

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