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(Wired)   Fahrenheit 747: Boeing firefighting supertanker can drop a path of fire retardant 3 miles long and as wide as a football field   (wired.com ) divider line
    More: Cool, boeing, fire extinguisher, aerosol can, flights, Sacramento, Oregon, continental United States, Montana  
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5372 clicks; posted to Geek » on 03 Sep 2009 at 5:13 AM (7 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2009-09-02 10:39:05 PM  
I work on base at McClellan where the Supertanker is stationed, and I read this article before heading in this morning, so I took a slight detour on my way in and took a crappy cameraphone picture of the jet. I'm taking my good camera to work tomorrow to get a better picture--this was too freaking cool!

farm4.static.flickr.com (pops)
 
2009-09-02 10:45:40 PM  
It's not Cali's wet dream, but it's damn close. Dayam.
 
2009-09-02 10:48:41 PM  
Very impressive! The best asset firefighters could ask for.

It might even be the only thing that can extinguish Perez Hilton's fire.

/NTTAWWT
 
2009-09-02 10:49:08 PM  
Another capability still under development by Evergreen is the ability to fight fires at night. The pressurized delivery system allows the Supertanker to make effective drops from as high as 400 feet - about twice the altitude of most air tankers. That added altitude could allow crews to safely make drops at night.

Couldn't they rig a really long retractable hose or something? They've already got the thing setup to pressure spray out of nozzles.
 
2009-09-02 10:49:11 PM  
Metaphysical Essay Question: if one of these planes hit a skyscraper, could it put its own fire out?
 
2009-09-02 10:50:08 PM  
Something that cool deserves a way cooler paintjob.
 
2009-09-02 10:54:44 PM  

DarthBrooks: Metaphysical Essay Question: if one of these planes hit a skyscraper, could it put its own fire out?


How is that metaphysics? Physics? Sure. Chemistry? Sure. Structural engineering? Probably.

Metaphysics? No.
 
2009-09-02 10:55:42 PM  

Brodan: Something that cool deserves a way cooler paintjob.


www.dollyandhammer.com
 
2009-09-02 10:59:14 PM  

Brodan: Something that cool deserves a way cooler paintjob.


Something that cool doesn't need a cooler paint job to be any more awesome than it already is. I actually squeaked when I drove around the corner and saw it sitting there this morning... It was funny, actually. CDF has a corner of the airfield where their fleet normally sits (picture here of some of the CDF planes that are normally there), but when I drove around the corner and looked to where the planes normally sit, there was only one small plane (one of the ones to take firefighters in) sitting there. I was sooo disappointed, and then I looked straight ahead, and realized that it was right ahead of me on the tarmac. And then I went all fangirly and started squeeing. I need to get a life. :-)
 
2009-09-02 11:00:58 PM  

lady_nocturne: Something that cool doesn't need a cooler paint job to be any more awesome than it already is. I actually squeaked when I drove around the corner and saw it sitting there this morning... It was funny, actually. CDF has a corner of the airfield where their fleet normally sits (picture here of some of the CDF planes that are normally there), but when I drove around the corner and looked to where the planes normally sit, there was only one small plane (one of the ones to take firefighters in) sitting there. I was sooo disappointed, and then I looked straight ahead, and realized that it was right ahead of me on the tarmac. And then I went all fangirly and started squeeing. I need to get a life. :-)


I would still like to see it in fire engine red.
 
2009-09-02 11:05:36 PM  

Brodan: lady_nocturne: Something that cool doesn't need a cooler paint job to be any more awesome than it already is. I actually squeaked when I drove around the corner and saw it sitting there this morning... It was funny, actually. CDF has a corner of the airfield where their fleet normally sits (picture here of some of the CDF planes that are normally there), but when I drove around the corner and looked to where the planes normally sit, there was only one small plane (one of the ones to take firefighters in) sitting there. I was sooo disappointed, and then I looked straight ahead, and realized that it was right ahead of me on the tarmac. And then I went all fangirly and started squeeing. I need to get a life. :-)

I would still like to see it in fire engine red.


Ok, you do have a point there. I'm actually kind of surprised that they don't have the usual CDF plane paint job with the silver and stripes. Guess it's better advertising with the Evergreen moniker on the side.
 
2009-09-02 11:07:30 PM  

Sid_6.7: How is that metaphysics? Physics? Sure. Chemistry? Sure. Structural engineering? Probably.

Metaphysics? No.


Easy there, Commander Data.
 
2009-09-02 11:12:45 PM  

DarthBrooks: Sid_6.7: How is that metaphysics? Physics? Sure. Chemistry? Sure. Structural engineering? Probably.

Metaphysics? No.

Easy there, Commander Data.


1.media.tumblr.com
 
2009-09-02 11:15:38 PM  

lady_nocturne: Guess it's better advertising with the Evergreen moniker on the side.


CDF is just leasing it for this fire, so a paintjob probably isn't included in the payments.
 
2009-09-02 11:18:48 PM  

dj_bigbird: lady_nocturne: Guess it's better advertising with the Evergreen moniker on the side.

CDF is just leasing it for this fire, so a paintjob probably isn't included in the payments.


Oh really? Bummer!! It has the CDF number on the tail, so I figured it was theirs.

Hmmm. That means I need to double my efforts to get up close to it and check it out. :-p
 
2009-09-02 11:22:10 PM  

Brodan: I would still like to see it in fire engine red.


Maybe they could replace the navigation lights with a biatchin' set of red flashers and strobes too.
 
2009-09-02 11:25:01 PM  

ChiliBoots: Brodan: I would still like to see it in fire engine red.

Maybe they could replace the navigation lights with a biatchin' set of red flashers and strobes too.


Can you imagine the siren? :twitch:
 
2009-09-02 11:36:37 PM  
There was a link to video of them using it in SoCal posted the other day. Pretty cool to see. S\ould be easy to find on YouTube.
 
2009-09-02 11:38:56 PM  

lady_nocturne: I work on base at McClellan where the Supertanker is stationed, and I read this article before heading in this morning, so I took a slight detour on my way in and took a crappy cameraphone picture of the jet. I'm taking my good camera to work tomorrow to get a better picture--this was too freaking cool!

(pops)


/jots note in stalker file
 
2009-09-02 11:39:20 PM  
The pilot in the Fox video is probably having the time of his life. Flying a 747 low and slow in a mountainous area has to be a very interesting experience.
 
2009-09-02 11:44:06 PM  

Errk: There was a link to video of them using it in SoCal posted the other day. Pretty cool to see. S\ould be easy to find on YouTube.


It's also in the linked article. :-)

Errk: lady_nocturne: I work on base at McClellan where the Supertanker is stationed, and I read this article before heading in this morning, so I took a slight detour on my way in and took a crappy cameraphone picture of the jet. I'm taking my good camera to work tomorrow to get a better picture--this was too freaking cool!

(pops)

/jots note in stalker file


Yeah yeah yeah. :-)


Myownepitaph: The pilot in the Fox video is probably having the time of his life. Flying a 747 low and slow in a mountainous area has to be a very interesting experience.


I watched that video 3 times... It's just such a trip to see it so low and slow like that. I know I'm weird, but I kept flashing back to 9/11 footage, where you'd see the plane coming in low and slow like that.

It's still freaking cool, though.
 
2009-09-02 11:46:21 PM  
Wasn't Evergreen running guns or something for the CIA for a while.
 
2009-09-02 11:48:43 PM  
a Boeing 747 that can drop 20,000 gallons of retardant over a swath of land three miles long.

Sounds like Sarah Palin's afterbirth.
 
2009-09-02 11:51:58 PM  

lady_nocturne: It's also in the linked article. :-


oops.....DRTFA!
 
2009-09-03 12:08:35 AM  
lady_nocturne:


Myownepitaph: The pilot in the Fox video is probably having the time of his life. Flying a 747 low and slow in a mountainous area has to be a very interesting experience.

I watched that video 3 times... It's just such a trip to see it so low and slow like that. I know I'm weird, but I kept flashing back to 9/11 footage, where you'd see the plane coming in low and slow like that.

It's still freaking cool, though.


The planes in the 9/11 attack were moving a lot faster than this one. Once those farkwits got a bead on their target they leveled off and maxed the throttle. Very little skill involved, just cockpit familiarity and a bit of stick time.

The 747 in the video is moving at well under half the speed and it looks like the flaps are down most of the time. Flying like that in this terrain, there's a very thin line between keeping a good speed and falling like a brick.

Doing that in a 747 over a populated area takes a hell of a lot of skill.
 
2009-09-03 12:28:37 AM  
I knew these were graceful aircraft but......but.......

I HAS A SQUEE.
 
2009-09-03 12:39:21 AM  

lady_nocturne: I'm taking my good camera to work tomorrow to get a better picture--this was too freaking cool!


Looking forward to the pictures. Definitely cool.
 
2009-09-03 01:20:12 AM  
lady_nocturne:

They've been parking it down at the other end of the runway for the last few weeks. If you know where CalStar is, it's been sitting behind a nearby hangar. I work around the corner from there, and it's normally parked by the ATI maintenance place. I'm surprised to hear they moved it, It's been sitting for a few weeks. Other than the low flight I saw it make over Sac recently, it's been on the ground for a while.
 
2009-09-03 01:41:26 AM  
That's so cool I hate to say this, but if the Santa Ana winds start blowing, that fifty yard wide swath won't stop jack.
 
2009-09-03 02:40:06 AM  

top.bullfrog: lady_nocturne:

They've been parking it down at the other end of the runway for the last few weeks. If you know where CalStar is, it's been sitting behind a nearby hangar. I work around the corner from there, and it's normally parked by the ATI maintenance place. I'm surprised to hear they moved it, It's been sitting for a few weeks. Other than the low flight I saw it make over Sac recently, it's been on the ground for a while.


Ooooh, jealous--I SOOOO want to see it in flight!!

I saw it parked out by CalStar earlier this summer (a month or so ago, I think?) but it was from Dudley and I didn't really get a good look at it (past noting it was a 747.) When I saw it this morning, it was down on the other end by where all the CDF planes are (toward Perrin and the Aerospace Museum) and it was surrounded by some trucks and a bunch of people.


Myownepitaph: The 747 in the video is moving at well under half the speed and it looks like the flaps are down most of the time. Flying like that in this terrain, there's a very thin line between keeping a good speed and falling like a brick.

Doing that in a 747 over a populated area takes a hell of a lot of skill.


I was thinking that as far as the stall thing... I think that's what kept me coming back to watch that video again. I mean, damn. Terrain and altitude aside, fires have such funky wind and thermal patterns that... yeah. Absolutely insane.


Kittypie070: I knew these were graceful aircraft but......but.......

I HAS A SQUEE.


I wish you (or someone who gets as much of a kick out of it as I do) could have been around when I saw it this morning--I squeed all over the place, and then I got to work and had to squee to a few coworkers (who already know I'm weird, so that's nothing new.)
 
2009-09-03 02:46:35 AM  

Kittypie070: I knew these were graceful aircraft but......but.......

I HAS A SQUEE.


So do I...

www.coolstuffinc.com
 
2009-09-03 02:47:41 AM  
She squeed and squeaked.

I am holding out for goobed.


one is awesome, wouldnt 20 or 40 just put the damn fire out in one pass? Now that'd be freaken sweet.
 
2009-09-03 05:15:32 AM  
That would be really handy for big forest fires.
 
2009-09-03 05:33:49 AM  
Got to see it in action on the Butler II fire at Big Bear in September '07. Flew all day between sunrise and sunset. Incredible to see the amount it would drop.
 
2009-09-03 05:41:52 AM  
I'm fairly certain that Modern Marvels already covered the 747 tanker. Can't find any video at the moment, though.
 
2009-09-03 06:07:56 AM  

Terrx: Wasn't Evergreen running guns or something for the CIA for a while.


Came here to point that out:

My father used to be in the NJANG, and at McGuire AFB they had this one
hangar out on the tarmac away from all the others (nicknamed "Hangar 18" of
course), and they used to get a lot of civilian traffic from "Evergreen
Aviation".

Of course, this was back in the 1980's, so maybe the company has changed
hands, but this certainly has a 'James Bond' feel to it.

Very cool & useful, though, and its nice to see the tradition of Boeing
aircraft being used to fight forest fires is continuing:

www.wildlandfire.com
 
2009-09-03 06:09:43 AM  
How long before the Russkies counter with an Antonov 225 or Antonov 125 fire retardant tanker,

TT for Tard Tanker

Hah hah he said Antonov twice.
 
2009-09-03 06:26:36 AM  
Anyone wan't to see 747 cranked around like that -- and more-- in real life check out landing videos for Kai Tak airport. Something like Ok, I see the checkerboard break left. Cross wind landing videos are something to be hold.

That field is closed now or mostly so.
 
2009-09-03 08:02:16 AM  
Here's a pic of one "reloading" after the drop...

airlineworld.files.wordpress.com
(hot)
 
2009-09-03 08:32:42 AM  

Seacop: Got to see it in action on the Butler II fire at Big Bear in September '07. Flew all day between sunrise and sunset. Incredible to see the amount it would drop.


FTA: "The plane made its first-ever drop in the continental United States when fire officials summoned it to the Oak Glen fire east of Los Angeles mid day on Monday."

You might have seen the DC-10 version, maybe?
 
2009-09-03 08:35:34 AM  
i440.photobucket.com

not impressed and was doing it years before Evergreen's 747. And there are two of them.
 
2009-09-03 08:41:12 AM  

clutchcargo2009: not impressed and was doing it years before Evergreen's 747. And there are two of them.


Yeah, but 20K capacity vs 12K. We're Americans--we have to have everything bigger and better!!

/I mean, dude, it's a 747
//DC-10=workhorse, 747=aviation icon
 
2009-09-03 08:46:07 AM  
Evergreen's spent years trying to get somebody interested in the 747 tanker. For some reason, it got a lot of resistance. The novel pumping system keeps the retardant from getting atomized and made useless from being dispensed at a too-high speed, basically, needing to decelerate the water in relation to the aircraft, so it can drop.
 
2009-09-03 08:47:32 AM  
www.pe.com

But can it re-up on the fly?
 
2009-09-03 08:54:55 AM  

clutchcargo2009: not impressed and was doing it years before Evergreen's 747.


If you got that much red stuff comin' out your ass it's time to cut back on the Indian food.

subby: Boeing firefighting supertanker can drop a path of fire retardant 3 miles long and as wide as a football field

A football field is 50 yards x 120 yards. So if we're talking equal width, then this "path" is 50 yards wide. Except most people refer to the length of the football field as a unit of measurement (for some dumbass reason), making the width of this path 120 yards.

Maybe we should stick to standard units of measure instead of trying to measure single dimensions with arbitrary two-dimensional areas.
 
2009-09-03 09:28:22 AM  

lady_nocturne: Something that cool doesn't need a cooler paint job to be any more awesome than it already is. I actually squeaked when I drove around the corner and saw it sitting there this morning... It was funny, actually. CDF has a corner of the airfield where their fleet normally sits (picture here of some of the CDF planes that are normally there), but when I drove around the corner and looked to where the planes normally sit, there was only one small plane (one of the ones to take firefighters in) sitting there. I was sooo disappointed, and then I looked straight ahead, and realized that it was right ahead of me on the tarmac. And then I went all fangirly and started squeeing. I need to get a life. :-)


I think I internet love you. Can I trade you for my current wife?

lady_nocturne: Myownepitaph: The 747 in the video is moving at well under half the speed and it looks like the flaps are down most of the time. Flying like that in this terrain, there's a very thin line between keeping a good speed and falling like a brick.

Doing that in a 747 over a populated area takes a hell of a lot of skill.

I was thinking that as far as the stall thing... I think that's what kept me coming back to watch that video again. I mean, damn. Terrain and altitude aside, fires have such funky wind and thermal patterns that... yeah. Absolutely insane.


Not to mention that at the 7:10 mark in the first video, the plane goes IIMC for about 10 seconds. It's scary enough to do that at 500 or 1000 feet in a helicopter. I can't imagine doing it in a 747 flying 200' AGL in a canyon. Those guys must have been picking seat cushion out of their buttholes for a week.

They mentioned the company I would like to work for after I get out of the Army. Here's a link to them anyway: http://www.wired.com/autopia/2009/09/evergreen-supertanker/

My biggest regret about joining the Army to fly is that I can't fly CH-53s.
 
2009-09-03 09:31:06 AM  
Whoops.

Erickson Air Crane (new window)
 
2009-09-03 09:55:32 AM  

Hiro Nakamura: lady_nocturne: Something that cool doesn't need a cooler paint job to be any more awesome than it already is. I actually squeaked when I drove around the corner and saw it sitting there this morning... It was funny, actually. CDF has a corner of the airfield where their fleet normally sits (picture here of some of the CDF planes that are normally there), but when I drove around the corner and looked to where the planes normally sit, there was only one small plane (one of the ones to take firefighters in) sitting there. I was sooo disappointed, and then I looked straight ahead, and realized that it was right ahead of me on the tarmac. And then I went all fangirly and started squeeing. I need to get a life. :-)

I think I internet love you. Can I trade you for my current wife?


HEH. :-) You should have seen me when I saw the Airbus a380 on the tarmac at London Heathrow earlier this summer. First time I'd ever seen one in person... soooo frustrating that we were taxiing and I couldn't ogle longer, and even then I was still squeeing when we got to Boston.

(No, it's not anywhere near as pretty as a 747, but damn, the sheer size of that thing...)
 
2009-09-03 09:57:28 AM  

DjangoStonereaver: Terrx: Wasn't Evergreen running guns or something for the CIA for a while.

Came here to point that out:

My father used to be in the NJANG, and at McGuire AFB they had this one
hangar out on the tarmac away from all the others (nicknamed "Hangar 18" of
course), and they used to get a lot of civilian traffic from "Evergreen
Aviation".


Possibly you've seen too much... you know too much.
 
2009-09-03 10:04:43 AM  
Awesome. Glad to see Bigger Hammers getting applied to the problem.

But, can any of you far-more-knowledgeable-than-I Farkers explain why we've long ignored the Russian IL-76 tanker? (new window) Seems like that'd be handy, and has been available for some time, but nearly all the web references to it are all wharrrgarrrbbbl-y....

Goes without saying, but: Here's hoping the fires settle their burny little asses down right quick, and all involved stay safe.
 
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