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727 Oil slick disperser

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727 Oil slick disperser

Old 3rd May 2016, 00:05
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727 Oil slick disperser

I heard that the crew pretty much just sit around on standby for a call that rarely comes. But, any first hand knowledge would be interesting.


"Converted Jetliners Readied To Clear Oil Slicks

For decades, the job of aerial spraying dispersant onto oil spills at sea has been assigned to slow piston-engine or turboprop cargo aircraft.

Dispersant spraying is seen by the oil industry as one of the most effective ways of stopping oil slicks from washing up on beaches, harming wildlife and otherwise having a negative impact on the environment.

But now a U.K.-based team is introducing jet-powered freighters converted to spray aircraft to reduce response times, increase range and reach oil spills almost anywhere in the world.

Oil Spill Response Ltd. (OSRL), a cooperative formed by the oil industry to respond to oil spill incidents, has teamed with British aeroengineering firm T2 Aviation—part of the 2Excel Aviation group—to deliver two modified ex-FedEx Boeing 727-200s fitted with internal tanks, pumps and a spray bar to deliver dispersant liquid, the first time a pure jet has been used for such a purpose.



T2 Aviation and OSRL have found the Boeing 727 to be ideal for oil dispersant operations, thanks to the type’s tri-jet configuration and high angle of attack at low-level. Credit: T2 Aviation

The first aircraft was activated at Doncaster Airport, England, on March 31 and is now ready to respond to incidents anywhere in the world at 4-hr. notice.

The unlikely new role for the 727 was prompted by the Deepwater Horizon accident in the Gulf of Mexico in July 2010, when oil companies realized they needed to respond to such incidents more rapidly. Furthermore, aircraft types normally used for dispersant spraying, such as the L-382G Commercial Hercules, were becoming costlier to hire and their numbers were dwindling.

An industry white paper studying new aircraft options was written and studies began in 2012.

“We looked at a wide range of aircraft,” says OSRL CEO Robert Limb. “The 727 was a very good choice. At low level, it is quite overpowered; it flies at 15 deg. of Alpha [angle of attack], so when you are low-level and spraying, this protects the aircraft from bird strikes.

“If you lose an engine, it does not have much of an asymmetric effect; it could climb away quite readily,” says Limb.

Engineering work on the project began in 2013 with nods from regulators to use a roll-on/roll-off system of tanks and pumps that could be fitted into the cargo hold and connected to the spray bar. But as the system was undergoing its final set of flight trials in November 2013, T2 was struggling to get the system certified, Limb says.

It turns out that in March 2014, regulators had reexamined the plans, deciding the dispersant was a flammable liquid and needed to be treated as such. A wholesale redesign of the system was requested.

“They told us to look at the requirements for a tanking system [such as] on aerial refueling aircraft,” says Limb.

From April to October 2014, 2Excel and OSRL rewrote the certification standards for dispersant-spraying aircraft in conjunction with the authorities. The new regulations concluded that spray systems and dispersant storage systems must be double-skinned, able to survive accidents with forces up to 9g without spilling, and capable of being vented or drained through separate systems than those already on the aircraft."

Converted Jetliners Readied To Clear Oil Slicks | Commercial Aviation content from Aviation Week
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Old 3rd May 2016, 00:10
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Ummmm sorry but what has 15 deg of alpha got to do with Bird strikes?

And does he really mean Alpha? Sounds a bit high?
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Old 3rd May 2016, 05:30
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The whole thing sounds a bit absurd.

Also, aviation aspects aside, I understand the dispersant would settle on the ocean floor, creating an environmental mess, albeit out of sight.
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Old 3rd May 2016, 07:35
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ACMS
Maybe they mean that at 15 degrees you can't see the birds that gonna hit you!!!!!!
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Old 3rd May 2016, 08:19
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Maybe they are just talking about protection of the engines from bird strikes. The fuselage will protect the No.2 and the wings no.1&3.
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Old 3rd May 2016, 23:49
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30 years ago, Mike Collett's outfit - Air Atlantique - did it with DC3s, fitted with tanks and spray booms and based at Exeter. Lots of sitting around and training flights, but at least one call out in anger to a huge slick off the South coast.

AA converted a Orion P3, some years later, and I witnessed a demo down Coventry runway for the benefit of the Min of Ag and Fish. The pilot flew it at about 40 ft, flat out, and sprayed the whole runway length with great accuracy. Impressive, but I don't believe anything came of it.

The B727 idea could work, I guess, but I would have thought there are better airframes for the job lying around in aircraft graveyards, if jets are under consideration.
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Old 4th May 2016, 01:08
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I repeat myself:

Also, aviation aspects aside, I understand the dispersant would settle on the ocean floor, creating an environmental mess, albeit out of sight.
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Old 4th May 2016, 03:09
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You raise good questions about dispersants - but the fact is that they are already used, and already applied aerially. That train has left the station. Presumably someone thinks they are preferable to loose oil - although you and I might not agree with them.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikiped...ll_cleanup.jpg

The news here is moving up to jet application, rather than prop-plane application. Like the DC-10 now laying down slurry in wildfires.
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Old 4th May 2016, 06:59
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CAPOT. It wasn't a converted Orion P.3, but a genuine Lockheed Electra if I remember rightly. AA had several of these from Aleutian Airways, but the flyable ones are now [or were] with Buffalo Airways in Yellow Knife, Canada.
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Old 4th May 2016, 07:03
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I don't care whether it's used for purpose or not, but Dan Griffiths flew a superb display in one of 727s [I believe there are now 2 727s] at a Duxford show 18 months ago. Best display of the day!!!.
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Old 4th May 2016, 07:50
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Maybe Dan thought he was back in the Vixen.......
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Old 4th May 2016, 12:00
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The dispersant is reported to be a flammable liquid. The proximity of the spray plume to the engine exhaust in this photo is interesting. Presumably the heat from the engines is insufficient to ignite the dispersant or affect the effectiveness of the plume but, from a FMECA perspective, would an engine fire while spraying present an additional safety issue over and above the obvious undesirability of an engine failure?



This kind of scenario springs to mind but could the outcome be worse given the location of the spray nozzles on the 727 compared with the fuel dump outlet on the F111?
http://youtu.be/WpPEdOMSIgQ

Last edited by Porrohman; 4th May 2016 at 12:21.
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Old 4th May 2016, 12:27
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I don't recall seeing the 727 with a G reg. before. Is this a first?
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Old 4th May 2016, 12:39
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I don't recall seeing the 727 with a G reg. before. Is this a first?
Nope, at the very least many moons ago Dan Air had a fleet on the UK register (including sadly G-BDAN..all on board RIP).

http://www.danairremembered.com/b727.html
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Old 4th May 2016, 15:27
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Recalling the oil streaks running down the JT-8 nacelles and the area on the ramp underneath the engines, I misread the thread title and thought it was

'727 Oil slick dispeNser'
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Old 4th May 2016, 16:31
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Didn't Cougar have 72s?
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Old 4th May 2016, 18:33
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Originally Posted by Aluminium shuffler View Post
Didn't Cougar have 72s?
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Old 5th May 2016, 17:07
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JEM60 said
CAPOT. It wasn't a converted Orion P.3, but a genuine Lockheed Electra if I remember rightly.
Of course it was, and I stand corrected. I pictured the aircraft, and the words Orion P3 sprang into what's left of my conscious mind.....
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Old 22nd May 2019, 18:03
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Boeing airliners with triple-slotted flaps do fly at high AOA. And I’ve seen test data that IIRC showed a DC-10 with 17 degrees AOA (body attitude 30 degrees in max effort climb).Hopefully staying at VREF or above for margin.Some articles claim at an altitude I think unwisely low, have to have some margin. Dip a wing and you are gone.
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Old 22nd May 2019, 18:04
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Less chance of windshield as well.
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