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$12M fire bomber trial

Old 10th Sep 2010, 13:15
  #21 (permalink)  
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I think you will find that WS and company actually had 2 CL215's in country for a while, and I believe that they where quite successfully deployed on bushfires around Vic and SA around 98?? GB was the tech pilot, and Port Phillip bay seemed to work ok, but there where some issues that aren't flashing up..
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Old 11th Sep 2010, 00:55
  #22 (permalink)  
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Hello all,

Do not look at the Convair as a replacement to the ag planes or heli's. Look at them as another member of the team.

- The retardant tankers help direct fire movement by laying long lines of retardant along the flanks of a fire.

- Helo's and Ag planes help with spot fires as well as knocking down the fire intesity with bucketing etc.

- Ground crews go in and put out the fires.

We have been missing a part of the equation in this country. I just hope that they are allowed to work effectively and not handicapped before they even get off the ground. If this works out then we should be pushing for an in house solution.

Double Wasp is offline  
Old 11th Sep 2010, 05:03
  #23 (permalink)  
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For a 12 million trial they could get 1200 hours of the worlds largest firefighter *

* provocative title above ignores fuel costs

Opinion: World's Best Fire-Fighting Plane Ignored

By John D. Anderson

CALGARY, Alberta, Canada, March 23, 1999 (ENS) - The World Trade
Organization and United Nations agencies ought to firefighters.
These organizations ought immediately to recommend a Russia-based, global
firefighting service utilizing the heavy-lift modern jet, the Ilyushin-76TD.

The world's largest, most powerful, firefighting aircraft - the
Ilyushin-76TD (Il-76) - sat on a runway in Russia in 1997 and 1998 while the
world's biggest, most wasteful wildfires consumed valuable animal habitat
and timber in Asia, Africa and South America. These fires caused many deaths
and health problems and exacerbated a worsening global warming situation.

This heavy-lift, modern-era, jet aircraft carries up to 135,000 pounds of
liquids; five-plus times the liquids load of the next-largest fire-fighting
planes, North American waterbombers.

The World Trade Organization (WTO) and the United Nations Environment
Programme (UNEP) could organize and deploy the Il-76 for worldwide fire
fighting through a three nation integrated service known as Global Emergency

Global Emergency Response is a comprehensively integrated Il-76 aircraft
emergency service complete with spares and a certified, qualified crew of
eight per aircraft for global fire fighting and other disaster and
humanitarian relief missions. It involves experts in Russia, Canada and the
United States.

WTO recognized in its high-level trade and environment symposium last week
that solutions to world environmental problems, fire among the chief
problems, may be hampered by trade barriers and national rules and
regulations. That is the WTO's expertise. So it can and should facilitate
utilization of leading technologies such as Il-76 with solid policy.

In sufficient numbers, this aircraft and its gifted Russian crews should
seasonally stand by, at strategically located runways the world over, ready
to stop the burning. Not inconsequentially, providing this service would
allow the Russian Federation to make the kind of money it will take to
breathe new life into its own flagging firefighting forces.

The tanking system used by Global Emergency Response can fit into any Il-76
and there are 100s of them in varying states of repair from brand new to
fair. These aircraft fly daily in cargo duty throughout the world. Tanking
systems can be manufactured in short order as they are simply large aluminum
cannisters with huge sealed hatches in the rear.

The Il-76 is large enough to handle the biggest fires that cause 95 percent
of the forest destruction globally.

There is no good reason this uniquely capable aerial firefighter could not
now be deployed to stop unwanted burning everywhere: from urban interface
and agricultural areas in Australia, California, and Florida, to bush,
savanna, and rainforest in Latin America and Southeast Asia, to the great
boreal forests of the north and the grasslands of Africa.

After much prodding from Global Emergency Response backers in North America,
the U.S. Forest Service, an acknowledged world leader in wildfire
suppression, tested the Il-76 aircraft at a British runway in September

U.S. Forest Service testers jumped up and down yelling "perfect, perfect" in
reference to the liquids drop characteristics and flight handling
capabilities during the drop. They published a press release acknowledging
the utility of the Russian giant. But then the U.S. Forest Service testers
went on to publish in the U.S. and Canada, an equivocal technical report.

We at Global Emergency Response think the U.S. Forest Service wrote the
technical report the way they did to keep the system at status quo. They
feared competition, and they especially didn't want to be shown up by the

Extra long runway lengths were said to have been needed as the aircraft is a
heavy, big one. On the other hand, an aircraft like this will rarely go out
with full fuel, yet the component of fuel weight was added in to produce a
ridiculously long runway requirement. In reality, for such a big aircraft,
the runway requirements are short. For this and other reasons, the Russian
engineers called the report "unprofessional" in certain material respects.

Even after the 1998 Florida blaze near Daytona that caused the cancellation
of the Daytona 500, and a forest fire induced evacuation from Salmon Arm,
British Columbia, North American agencies continue to deny their citizens
and their environment the Russians' offer of the best, most cost-effective
big-fire protection.

Since 1995, the U.S. Forest Service has reneged on its undertaking to see
the Il-76 through a round-peg-in-square-hole domestic approval process which
would virtually assure the Russians worldwide acceptance of their premium,
yet affordable, firefighting service.

The services of the Il-76 tankers are charged by the hour - US$10,000 per
hour plus fuel. This rate is 184 percent more cost effective per pound of
liquid delivered to the fire than the largest Canadian tanker, the DC-6.
Figures for comparable U.S. fire-fighting planes are not available.

In Canada, without independent testing, firefighting agencies seized upon
the U.S. Forest Service tech-report's perceived downside. They advised their
ministers there were too many iffy areas and that further testing, possibly refinement, would be necessary. Canadian politicians, expressing
conditional support for the plane, deferred to the United States to resolve
any outstanding technical questions.

Even two seasons for record fire suppression expenditures - 1995 at Cdn$.5
billion and 1998 at Cdn$.7 billion failed to motivate Canadians to move on
the Russian aircraft service or even see it for themselves. This in the face
of government generated evidence that the heaviest hitters in Canada's
fleets' of fixed-wing, firefighting aircraft are getting too long in the
tooth to see safe fire action very much longer.

Efforts have been made to deploy the Il-76 to Indonesia, Brazil, and Mexico,
all to mysteriously inconsequential ends.

Australians entertained a demonstration of the Il-76's tanker potential at
the southern hemisphere's largest airshow in March 1995. Australian
firefighters saw right through the U.S. Forest Service's test report and
took the Il-76 to a test of their own later that year in Moscow. Finding the
aircraft and its handling characteristics quite satisfactory, the Aussies
still neglected to hire the Russian service in ensuing seasons.

Australasia inaction on the big Russian tanker cost Indonesia and associated
ASEAN countries dearly in 1997 and 1998. By some estimates, before health
costs, those fires cost US$4.4 billion.

The tiny aircraft Australia and other countries were able to send Indonesia,
even U.S. heavy haulers, were singularly unimpressive against the fury of
the rainforest fires on the Indonesian island of Borneo and especially
against the perennial, deep peat fires that will not go out.

It wasn't until the fury of the worst fires in 100 years hit Greece last
summer that a country outside the Russian Federation was able to muster the
Russian giant quickly to subdue two of its biggest fires. In Greece, the
Russian fire weapon finally and conclusively broke through
barriers-to-entry local firefighters the world over were throwing up.

UNEP and the United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination agency have
a lead on global fire information, an area surprisingly not all that well

According to the 1999 UNEP report "Wildland Fires and the Environment: A
Global Synthesis,"
up to 40 percent of carbon dioxide and 38 percent of tropospheric ozone
comes from biomass burning.

Analysis shows that five percent of the wildfires - the big ones - cause 95
percent of the destruction.

Under a perverse provision of the Kyoto Protocol to the Framework Convention
on Climate Change, carbon balance accounting does not take disastrous
biomass burning emissions into account unless it is "prescribed burning,"
done to remove fuel. This is a disincentive to better fuel management at the
same time as it is a nod to large-scale biomass burning, no matter how

Human interaction with forests causes up to 90 percent of this waste. Let's
take a look at a bigger, better, globally-organized firefighting weapon -
the Il-76 tanker system.

The World Trade Organization and the United Nations agencies should apply
Rio Earth Summit principles of sustainability to battling fires around the

Let's deploy the Russian giant firefighting tanker now, before we sit down
to plan and produce a sister to the World Trade Organization, the World
Environment Organization.

[John Anderson is a partner in Global Emergency Response. He is a
non-practicing lawyer with a background in aviation, and a former pilot with
experience in air traffic control for tree-top flying in New Brunswick,
Canada. He resides in Calgary.]
weloveseaplanes is offline  
Old 11th Sep 2010, 06:15
  #24 (permalink)  
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I didnt think the CV580 were still in production?
Kelowna Flightcraft in BC, Canada has the type certificate and produces a remanufactured uprated 580 known as the 5800. Stretched 14 ft with 501-22g engines. Nice machine and basically new.

The Convair is a good machine, but we have too few airports equipped to handle it.
Ummm there are two 580's running in and out of big an airport do you think they need?
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Old 11th Sep 2010, 07:29
  #25 (permalink)  
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The DC-10 is too large for the urban interface. The problem was that the amount of "liquid" that the aircraft dropped was dangerous to persons on the ground and also to structures. At what point do you determine to destroy something to save something?

Fires, Aerial assets are a great tool, especially if you can get them there quick enough. Western Australia has the right idea with the response to the fire. There are area's where as soon as a 000 call is made the helicopters or At802/602 are mobilised. NSW is a different story and VIC is also again a different story where you have to go through managers etc to get the aircraft mobilised.

It is great to see some CV580's that not only can drop retardant but also water. Also interesting to note the extra S64 that is going to be deployed.

So there will be 3 x S64's, 2 x S61's, 2 x CV580's and the rest made up of AT502,602,802, B212, B412, B206, AS350 etc

As for the Trackers, it would cost a lot of money to get them up to scratch, then you have maintenance, crew's etc, it ends up being cheaper per year to bring in aircraft from overseas with full crew and maintenance support. ie it cost the government 10mill to have the 2 CV580's here as it would cost say 15 mill a year to have maintenance, crew, insurance etc for 2 trackers.

It is true that you need the ground crews to back up the aircraft dropping water or it is pointless. Here is a good link so everyone understands
Engineer_aus is offline  
Old 11th Sep 2010, 08:08
  #26 (permalink)  
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dodo, no idea about the pros/cons but the DC10 was deployed against fires last summer.
le Pingouin is offline  
Old 11th Sep 2010, 21:14
  #27 (permalink)  
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As suggested by OZbusdriver, what about the Trackers? Why do we have to reinvent the wheel in this country; again and again?
In 1988 it cost the Canadians 8 million each to convert Trackers, that wouldn't include repairs from sitting around for twenty years. You then have an Aircraft that carries 3000 litres, same as an 802.
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Old 12th Sep 2010, 06:24
  #28 (permalink)  
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Why run 2 PT6's with a tracker that holds 3000lts with 2 crew and complex maintenance than a 802 single pilot, easy maintenance and 1 PT6 and 3000lt of water.
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Old 12th Sep 2010, 09:41
  #29 (permalink)  
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42,000 liters . . . crews ready now . . . why not use the Russians?

The largest and fastest of the water bombers is the turbofan jet Ilyushin-76TD (Il-76). It can reach a fire anywhere in the world within 12 hours. Carrying 11 gallons (42,000 litres) of water and fire retardants – 4 times as much as a C-130 – it can, in one run, dump enough water to cover 6 double-wide football fields, or an area 0.7 miles (1,1 km) in length.

See: World’s largest water bomber and heli firefighters :

42,000 liters is 14 lots of 3,000 liters . . .

and all that for only 10k US + fuel an hour

Why not use the Russkies and nuke the fires with Gods gift to fire fighting?
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Old 12th Sep 2010, 12:03
  #30 (permalink)  
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42,000lts is too much. Read all the documentation that the Australian authorities have provided, that is why the DC-10 is not coming back. Sure its fine for large unpopulated area's but not here in Australia.
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Old 12th Sep 2010, 12:14
  #31 (permalink)  
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Here is a good link so everyone understands
It is so nice to see the bean counters at it. I am sure that anyone who is in the line of a fire front does not care one iota about the cost benefit ratio. Whether it is a DC10 or 5x802s attacking the fire. All they want it the fire out.
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Old 13th Sep 2010, 11:18
  #32 (permalink)  
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601, tell me then what 1000lts of water does to a human, let alone 40t of the stuff. Large amounts of water in a urban interface is ineffective, even the yanks say the same.
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Old 13th Sep 2010, 11:58
  #33 (permalink)  
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Earlier discussion on this

Perhaps we could re-visit at least one of the earlier discussions on this.

I particularly liked the contributions from "FarmerPete" - a long-time volunteer firefighter. His view is that the most cost-effective method was a mix of ground and air, with improved ground equipment being a cost-effective option. Budgets for firefighting are not unlimited.
layman is offline  
Old 13th Sep 2010, 22:12
  #34 (permalink)  
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Does anyone know who has been awarded the CV-580 contract?

Kelowna? Conair?

Conair just crashed a CV-580 in August.

Firebomber crashes: key.Aero, General Aviation

Just curious who actually has the contract.
privateer01 is offline  
Old 3rd Dec 2010, 00:20
  #35 (permalink)  
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Bushfire CRC Comments on DC10 Shortsighted

I know this comment is a little late but I have just had the opportunity to read the report on the DC10 conducted by the Bushfire CRC. The conclusions about it being dangerous in urban areas and being dangerous to on ground firefighters are laughable. Any firebombing aircraft is dangerous if it is operated outside procedures and when operations involve untrained or incompetent personnel. An AT802 too low or too fast will make a complete mess of anything directly underneath it. I suspect strongly that there were political elements operating in our fire agencies that didn't want the DC10 for whatever reason. (NAFC, AFAC, CRC)

As far as operations go, on Black Saturday the DC10 would have made little difference in the heat of battle but the real benefit of this kind of aircraft is that it can be used early on such days to make sure any fires that are still burning are rounded up before the day gets hot and any existing fire edges become uncontrollable. The Royal Commission missed this point completely instead focusing on smaller aircraft out the door quicker. This concept is OK except on a day like that unless you get the aircraft overhead in about 5-10 minutes the chances of doing any good are minimal. (B212 start up about 6-10 mins it think).

The way in which the DC10 has been discredited is disappointing and short sighted. Unfortunately the things that were found "wrong" with this aircraft have eliminated ever using the big air tankers in Victoria/Australia. B747s and IL76s all would have exactly the same safety issues and for that matter the Convair 540's that are proposed/happening this season will struggle if the procedures and training allow people or assets in the path of drops.

Australia's aerial firefighting capability has been established and built up over many years using common sense and sound technical evaluation. I guess that it is inevitable with the kind of $ surrounding a DC10 that politics and egos come into play comensurate with the money at stake.

Just my opinion.
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Old 3rd Dec 2010, 01:18
  #36 (permalink)  
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An AG pilot was telling me recently that they called for the DC10 for a fire near Hamilton. The pilots were with the aircraft but the crew had already gone home (mid afternoon). It was a perfect opportunity for it to show it's worth and it missed out badly.

Did it ever fight a real fire in Victoria?
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Old 3rd Dec 2010, 03:16
  #37 (permalink)  
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Commercial C-130s

As a tax payer, I would prefer the C-130's to be used even if it mean't a shorter life span. Better to burn out than rust away.
But they would have to be operated by someone else besides the military.
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Old 8th Dec 2010, 08:29
  #38 (permalink)  
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Re xxx above - the DC10 did fly operationally

It did a job up near Mildura but I think it was more about testing the gear than actually needing it - which I guess given the circumstances was an OK thing to do. It would have been interesting to see it work in a situation where it had jobs in different parts of the State in quick succession.
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Old 8th Dec 2010, 09:31
  #39 (permalink)  
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Have a look at this link to a firebombing aircraft display on the Black Sea. The photography is awesome.

Highlights of the Gidroaviasalon Airshow
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Old 9th Dec 2010, 08:55
  #40 (permalink)  
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Mother nature,s going to provide a long hot summer. ! The west is in drought, east flooded. I know the hills around Perth aren,t lookin good this year. Bring the Freo Doc in early on a 45c day. Lives will be lost this year.
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