Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Copter 2

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Here's some pictures of our new copter. It's still in Tennesee but will get here in a few weeks after some more flight testing.


Lee said...

I am guessing that is the fire retardant refill hose hanging down like that?

Around Oregon I have seen the bucket like device that the dip into various water sources for fires. (My sister has a rather amusing story involving one of those, a wedding and a pond)

So I was wondering if that hose can be used while in flight to pump water into the tank?

flyingvan said...

It's a snorkel to fill the tank. We hover over a water source, and it will fill our 375 tank in 17 seconds. It's hydraulic powered....Most copters use an electric pump snorkel that takes about 90 seconds.
Buckets are better in forests, fixed tanks are necessary for the wildland urban interface (WUI). Anything not permanently bolted to the aircraft (water buckets, rescue medics, etc) has to be immediately ejectable by a single button push by the pilot. Punching out a full bucket over a house would be....bad. For night firefighting, powerlines are an issue, and you have to groundfill

The Anonymous Fire Buff said...

Why are buckets better in forests? Does the bucket drop penetrate the trees better or something?

Lee said...

Full buckets falling someplace with population density would have a greater chance of hurting someone and damaging property.

The dense woods of Oregon are largely unpopulated with peoples.

flyingvan said...

You're right Lee, and I think 'Anon' was curious about the advantages of a bucket over fixed tank in the forest. You can get a bucket really close to the tree tops, much closer than you would with a fixed tank. You can get less dispersal so you really douse an area. Buckets are much simpler than snorkel systems and less likely to get fouled with water weeds. The bucket is lighter than the tank and snorkel combo.
A disadvantage is, you have to set the bucket so it doesn't overload the copter at full fuel. A fixed tank can fill with just as much water as you deem safe, and take more water as you burn fuel. (OK I know about Torrentula valves on buckets but that's another topic)