Belly tanks are often a PITA, with added weight, complexity and slower fill rate. BUT, they excel if you have a shallow fill area, say <2 feet.
Bambi's bad points are the neccesity to have > 2 feet of water (or more for larger buckets), possible reduced cruise on long transits, and stowage during positioning flights. Good points are simplicity, versatility, low weight penalty and ease of use.
But don't bother trying to convince NRE, they know what's best for all of us.....
Reading between the lines have NRE come out with a new policy banning bambi's or don't you have a belly tank????. I thought the problem with foam contamination from S**safoam had been fixed by putting the foam tank and shutoff in the cabin so Bambi's were OK again.
I flew a contract that required both (Western US). We sat on stand-by with the tank attached and would launch on initial attacks with it. There weren't many natural water sources around so we would rendezvous with a water-tender and ground fill with a hose. The tank worked well for the PJ or grass fires in that area. It also had a really good foam delivery system. To use a Bambi bucket in that situation we would have had to have waited for the water tender to fill a pumpkin first and then dipped from it, delaying us by 20-30 minutes. Here the tank was great.
When we got up into the taller fuels, I preferred to switch to the bucket on a 50' or 100' line. You didn't have to, it just felt better for me. The Bucket allows you to steer the drop without having to steer the entire aircraft. The Bambi bucket was much better for spot drops too. Doing a spot drop with the tank was tricky. If you got low enough to be effective, you stirred up the fire with your downwash. If you got high enough to dissipate the downwash, the drop would atomize into spray and become ineffective.
I'm guessing that two pilots, one flying a tank and the other a bucket and each equally proficient in his own could do an equal job. The above is just my own opinion.
However, given the choice, I would take the Bambi Bucket. If not for any other reason, then because it was more fun.
Anyone had problems with Bambi buckets spinning when accelerating while empty. Have 2 identical buckets and one flies great... the other not so great. We have alleviated most of the problem with extra weights on the front but am interested to hear if others have had similiar problems and what there fix was.
Are they on long-lines? Are they on different long-lines with one twisting and one not. Whichever longline is working properly holds the solution.
Anti-rotation lines have a pre-twist in them and get tangled up like crazy as the twist comes out. As the bucket is not prone to rotating on its own, it is OK to really use any kind of acceptable long line (ie: not necessarily anti-rotation line).
Kevlar or Plasma lines will eliminate the problem entirely - check Can-Am out . The only other solution is a swivel above the control head. If you want to check it out, just watch the K-Max's!
Both machines have the same Hampajen lines (Not sure of spelling!) that are now so popular in Oz. Have used different lengths 50, 100 and 150ft and haven't noticed any difference in the propensity to spin. Will keep playing with different things but suspect that it may be a slight difference in the cut of the bucket. Both 214's are going well. Have done over 600 hrs in them now with only minor hiccups. Like all machines if you treat them right they go great. Its a shame that a couple of dodgy US operators of yester year have given the things such a bad name. Theres no doubt that in the conditions prevalent in Oz they are almost untouchable performance wise.
have you checked that the M straps are all exactly equal in length? Also the check the spreader bars for small missalignments which can subtly effect their length and thus the shape. Control head and weight misalignment is another very remote possibility.
Lastly, if you can find something strong enough, hang the bucket next to the good one and try to see any differences, then fill them and look again. Usually problems are easier to see when they are full, even though the weight wont make let them spin.
Intresting problem. Would love to hear any solutions you can find.
Why is it called the Bambi Bucket? The name came about because of CBCís Bob Fortune. He interviewed me on a show about inventors and we became friends. One night over dinner he asked me what I was going to call it. I didnít want to talk business so I said ďthe Bambi BucketĒ Ė I was just being goofy. But he said it was a great name and he was relentless in pushing me to keep it.
taken from same interview just a little further down:
What do you do for relaxation? Every morning and evening I meditate and do yogic flying. Iíve been involved in transcendental meditation since 1970, and in 1978 I completed the transcendental meditation Sidhis program which includes yogic flying.
What are you reading right now? The most recent book Iíve read is Permanent Peace: How to Stop Terrorism and War Ė Now and Forever by Robert Oates. Itís one of the most significant books around because it details the research proving the effectiveness of yogic flying in creating world peace.
Yogic flying? Can anyone enlighten me plaese? Sounds bloody dangerous in any case! Maybe it requires a trained observer to keep a lookout for you .....