Tag Archives: firefighting

Russia fields strategic water bombers in Siberia

With Winter turning into Spring many countries face the challenge of wildfires. Russia is no exception, where part of the emergency response is done by standard strategic airlifters: the Ilyushin IL-76TD and its cousins.

Three of these have lately been involved in extinguishing fires in Siberia, using VAP-2 spray tanks and installation. The Russian Emergency Response Ministery (MCHS Rossii) has the lead in these missions. The IL-76TD got support from an Russian Air Force IL-76 “Candid”, plus from the MCHS fleet two Beriev BE-200s amphibious firefighters, two Mil Mi-8 helicopters and a single big Mil Mi-26 helicopter. All combined they dropped 700,000 litres of water with the Air Force Candid providing a fifth of the anti-fire power.

The great thing with the big converted airlifters is that they are also used to transport necessary equipment, fire suppression substances and food/aid supplies to areas struck by the fires, about 100 tons in the case of recent the Siberian operations. By combining a relatively environmental-friendly retardant powder (OS-5) with 2.8 times more water the flames can be fought more effectively, while the powder increases the effect of the water on the ground and thereby reducing the number of sorties needed to combat the hazard.

VAP-2
Fire-fighter planes have been busy, with responding to wildfires in the Buryatia region earlier. Russia has been fielding the IL-76s in the fire-fighting role since 1992, with the design started in 1989. The current VAP-2 spray tank systems consists of two cylindrical tanks with each 21,000 litres capacity. The system is attached to the floor of the cargo compartment and can be rolled out/in the Candids by a wheeled trailer.

It takes about 1.5 to 2 hours to load and secure the fire-fighting system in the plane. About 25 minutes is used to fill the tanks once they’re in the plane. Typical drop altitudes are between 150 and 320 feet, with each retardant/water load taking about 6 to 8 seconds to be released onto the fire. The VAP-2 system is already compatible with Russia’s new IL-76MD-90A aircraft, without the need of any modifications.

Russia’s MCHS Rossii and Russian Air Force fire-fighting IL-76s are known to fly from the Pskov, Taganrog, Tver and Orenburg Airbases.

2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Marcel Burger, based on source information by Ilyushin Aircraft Company
Featured image: An Ilyushin IL-76 equipped as water bomber (Image © Russian Ministry of Defence)

Largest Bell operator SW Asia will be even bigger

Computer generated impression of the soon to be Bell 525 Relentless (Image © Bell Textron)
Computer generated impression of the soon to be Bell 525 Relentless (Image © Bell Textron)

The largest commercial Bell helicopters operator in Southwest Asia is getting even bigger. Abu Dhabi Aviation wants to add 10 new to develop Bell 525 Relentless choppers to its fleet. The aircraft will be used for the offshore oil and gas industry, as emergency medical support aircraft, for VIP transport, for firefighting and for search and rescue.

The Bell 525 medium-lift helicopter only exists on paper so far, with the first flight projected later this year. It will be able to accommodate about 16 passengers or transport 7,400 lbs (3,400 kg) of cargo at a max speed of 155 knots (287 kmh) over a distance of 575 miles (926 km) at a max. altitude of 20,000 feet. The range is almost doubled with only half the cargo load. The chopper will be fly-by-wire controlled, a new thing in the commercial chopper business. Two GE engines will power the helicopter, which will sport the Garmin G5000H “glass” flight deck.

Abu Dhabi Aviation already flies 38 Bell 412 and 212 helicopters, accumulating 750,000 flight hours over the past 30 years in business. The company signed the letter of intent for the 10 Bell 525s at the Heli-Expo 2014 in Anaheim, USA, on 26 February 2014.

Source: Bell Textron

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C-27J fighting fire: just a cardboard box of water

Romanian Air Force C-27J Spartan with serial 2702 (Image © Alenia Aermacchi)
Romanian Air Force C-27J Spartan with serial 2702 (Image © Alenia Aermacchi)

One of the Romanian Air Force’s C-27Js will be the first aircraft in Europe to use a new firefighting system: just dropping a cardboard box full of water or extinguishing liquid. In the past few weeks Alenia Aermacchi ran training tests with the aircraft and concept, which doesn’t acquire any special firefighting systems installed.

The Fortele Aeriene Române (Romanian Air Force, FAR) jointly with Alenia Aermacchi completed the tests in a Romanian mountain range and at sea level with a FAR C-27J Spartan. The so-called Caylym Guardian concept allows the C-27 to drop up to six large cardboard containers on bush fires; each container holding 1000 liters of water or extinguishing liquid.

After the drop the boxes create a retardant liquid cloud focused on the target. Containers are biodegradable but they can also be recovered by ground firefighters. The concept even allows the C-27J – or C-130J for that matter – to fight fires from 1,500 feet. That’s is higher than when using traditional firefighting methods on aircraft. It makes fighting bush fires safer and opens up more possibilities of combating fire at night.

Source: Alenia Aermacchi

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Check out the Romanian Air Force Orbat at Scramble.nl

The Caylym Guardian cardboard firefighting concept in action during trials with a Romanian Air Force C-27J (Image © Alenia Aermacchi)
The Caylym Guardian cardboard firefighting concept in action during trials with a Romanian Air Force C-27J
(Image © Alenia Aermacchi)

The Caylym Guardian cardboard firefighting concept in action during trials with a Romanian Air Force C-27J (Image © Alenia Aermacchi)
The Caylym Guardian cardboard firefighting concept in action during trials with a Romanian Air Force C-27J
(Image © Alenia Aermacchi)

The Caylym Guardian cardboard firefighting concept in action during trials with a Romanian Air Force C-27J (Image © Alenia Aermacchi)
The Caylym Guardian cardboard firefighting concept in action during trials with a Romanian Air Force C-27J
(Image © Alenia Aermacchi)

50th Bombardier CL-415 SuperScooper

The Bombardier 415 SuperScooper (Image © Bombardier)
The Bombardier 415 SuperScooper (Image © Bombardier)

Bombardier celebrated the sale and delivery of its 50th iconic Bombardier 415 (CL-415) SuperScooper amphibious aircraft assembled at its North Bay, Ontario facility, on November 3rd, 2013. The aircraft, purchased by a partnership led by Tenax Aerospace, LLC of Ridgeland, Mississippi, will be used under contract to the United States Forest Service starting next month.

Based on the list price, the Bombardier contract is valued at approximately $34.5 million USD.

The Bombardier 415 SuperScooper aircraft is probably one of the best firefighters around and is able to be operated in rough terrain. The originally Canadair CL-415 is the only aircraft specifically built as an aerial firefighting airplane. It is able to land on unpaved runways, lakes, rivers and seas, enabling both rapid initial attacks to extinguish fires and sustained attacks to contain fires.

While the 50th Bombardier 415 aircraft to roll out of North Bay, Ontario is the first to be sold to a United States customer, a total of five State and privately owned CL-215 aircraft, the predecessor to the Bombardier 415 aircraft, are currently operated in the United States.

Since the first Bombardier 415 amphibious aircraft was delivered in 1994, a total of 85 Bombardier 415 and four Bombardier 415 MP aircraft have been delivered to governments and firefighting agencies around the world. In addition, 80 CL-215 and CL-215T amphibious piston aircraft remain in service worldwide.

The Bombardier 415 firefighter aircraft has a normal cruise speed of 180 KT (333 km/h) under certain conditions. In an average mission of six nautical miles (11 kilometres) distance from water to fire, it can complete nine drops within an hour and precisely deliver 14,589 US gallons (55,233 litres) of fire suppressant.

Source: Bombardier

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