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Classic Wings Magazine WWII Naval Aviation Research Pacific Warbird Digest
Final Cut-The Post War B-17 Flying Fortress and Survivors - 5th Edition


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 12:20 am 
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Tankers 41 and 103 have joined the fleet working the Colorado Fires. Those Ericson MD87’s sure look colorful against the haze of the fires. It was real windy today so not much flying…..and check out the one-point landing of the bird behind the fire Huey.

:shock:

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And for the CU fans out there......



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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2018 1:53 am 
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They sure helped increase the cost of that. And eliminate some jobs as well. RIP Hawkins and Powers and other such places.
It kinda reminds me of how they forced all the old steam locomotives to be ripped up.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2018 3:26 pm 
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I lived in that neck of the woods back in the early 80s. H&P used to station one of their Super Privateers there during fire season. Those nice, shiny jets and helos just don't have the same character as the greasy old warbirds (although I'm sure they're much safer and more efficient.) We swung by while on vacation there last summer, but there wasn't anything burning nearby so the airport was pretty quiet. Just an old Skycrane sitting alone on the tanker ramp.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2018 6:55 pm 
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When is a jet at slow speed more efficient than a recip? Like never. And it takes some time for a jet to spool up, low air speeds are just not a jets forte. Also jet plane wings are not designed for slow flight like in fire fighter work. They I would think need a good amount of airflow to be sharp on the stick so to say. Maybe put some different wings and recips on the wing and they would be okay.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2018 8:37 pm 
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Fuel efficiency isn't the issue here - it's transit time. They cut it by over half.

Modern turbines are extremely responsive and additionally much less affected by large changes in throttle. As such, the pilots aren't thinking about overloading or backloading the engine when making large changes in power. Turboprops are even more responsive and reliable, which is why CalFire has gone whole-hog on the S-2T conversion program and is increasing its fleet.

As for airspeeds - it doesn't matter whether you've got a jet or a piston, all that matters is the wing. While the wing on jets are mostly optimized for cruise, the aircraft being most used for conversion now are all aircraft with wings and lift systems designed for short runways.

The DC-10 was specifically designed for the short runways at LaGuardia, Midway, and the high altitude of Mexico City (before it was lengthened in the late 1980s) all while carrying a full load of passengers and at least 4 hours of fuel. Approach speed at Max Landing Weight (which they're well under on most drops) is 140 knots. It goes down quite a bit as you drop below MLW.

The BAe-146/RJ-85 was designed specifically to operate out of runways previously only used by Turboprops and to be able to handle the 5.5 degree glidepath and short runway of London City while fully loaded. With its flaps extended, the airplane is more than capable of descending along a 6.5-7 degree glideslope and still need power to maintain airspeed. Typical approach speed is 112-118 knots, about the same as the Cessna Citation II.

The MD-80 was designed again to handle the short runways of LaGuardia and Midway as part of its base design. The wing, an enlarged version of the DC-9-30s, features extremely effective flaps and slats which provide for standard approach speeds normally seen on airplanes half their size. Approach speed on the MD-80 at MLW is also ~140 knots.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2018 11:44 pm 
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I am surprised at how small the slurry tank us under those MD87's. Do they carry a larger tank inside the fuselage that then dumps out of the tank underneath?


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2018 8:07 am 
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Yes. The MD-87 carries 3000 gallons of retardant internally. The "pod" is simply the aerodynamic fairing and door system to provide good drop performance.

http://www.eatanker.com/

I forgot to note that Coulson is turning some 737-300s into Air Tankers as well, with 4000 gallon tanks and, because even then they're so far under MTOW when flying firefighting missions, they can leave the aft galley, lavs, and (I think) 30 seats installed at all times, making the airplanes very flexible since they can carry their crew and parts to the scene, or alternately transport a smokejump or ground firefighting crew to the Area of Operations and drop them at the base before filling up on retardant and heading to the fire, making it a uniquely flexible aircraft. Meanwhile, the DC-10s can carry in things like pumps, "inflatable" tanks, fill basins for helicopters, and the like to help set up a remote base that may not have all the equipment but does have a water supply.

I've not seen pictures of the interior of the MD-87s, but I suspect they have limited capacity to carry things. I know the 146/RJ-85 and C-130 birds have their interiors occupied by the tank system, so they are tankers only. But this is one of the other benefits of the jets - they can be more than just tankers.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2018 3:51 pm 
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I'm flying a Lockheed Electra tanker for the summer and we're sort of the same. Still have a cargo door plus one set of seats for our maintenance guys when we base change, and we pack all of our spares as well as the birddog's, plus tools, bicycles, motorcycles, bbq, etc. Once we're unpacked the Electra will haul 3000 gallons at about 240 knots. A very maneuverable and capable airplane, but that DC-10 is just awesome!

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 7:53 pm 
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Be safe Dan. I have ultimate respect for you guys and the risks you take to try and keep people safe.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 9:02 pm 
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Thanks, but we don't really stick our necks out. Most of our stuff is just laying retardant down near but essentially beside the fire (read "safely away from") just to keep it from spreading out further. It's not like "Always" or anything! :-) The guys on the ground doing all the actual work with the hoses and the chainsaws and the shovels, they're the guys that really deserve a word of thanks.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 4:18 pm 
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Just a few hundred yards south of my house in early May, two years after the city of Fort McMurray Alberta, my home town, was evacuated due to the wildfire that swept through the area.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 2:46 am 
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And not one warbird ? On a warbird site?


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 6:57 am 
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Well..kinda sort of... :)
The RAF had a couple of the British Aerospace 146/AVRO RJs. They were in the Queen's Flight. Prince Charles famously bent one while landing...IIRC after which he gave up flying.
And one of the helicopters is a Bell 212...aka... USAF/USN/USMC UH-1N.I
So they are types that saw some military service, even if those particular airframes did not.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 1:06 pm 
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exhaustgases wrote:
And not one warbird ? On a warbird site?


Seriously? Calm down Skippy, it's gonna be okay. Have a juice box or something...

:roll:


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 11:19 pm 
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And not one warbird ? On a warbird site?


Electras were used by the Argies, Bolivians and others in military service and the BAE146 has military service and the MD87's are first cousins of the C-9.

All the helos shown serve or have served in the military.

All in combat vs. fire...


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