Firefighting out of the box – is Bambi safe?

According to a story in the Puget Sound Business Journal, Boeing and forest products company Weyerhaeuser have conducted flight tests of an aerial firefighting system that drops water or retardant in cardboard containers that break apart in mid-air and release hundreds of water bombs.

I’m sure the idea holds water, but the US Forest Service remains to be convinced the system is safe. The story says aviation programme leader Carl Bamberger is concerned people will be upset if they “find Bambi konked out by a big box”.

The Precision Container Air Delivery System was conceived by Boeing engineer William Cleary for use with the C-17, but according to the Business Journal the drop tests over western Arizona in early July involved an old Fairchild C-123.

Boeing’s Cleary with his Bambi-bonking water bomb


3 Responses to Firefighting out of the box – is Bambi safe?

  1. ty bonnar 19 July, 2007 at 10:36 pm #

    FYI: This is the old system – the new system is nothing like this. The new system is a 1 ton special bio bag of water/retardant that is contained in a special “box” that when released from a cargo ramp opens up about 200 feet below the ramp and rains the contents onto the fire – Bambi is not an issue. Even so, don’t you think Bambi would have the common sense to run away from the fire – animal instict/survival mode…?

  2. The Woracle 20 July, 2007 at 3:06 pm #

    Thanks, Ty – I will get Flight’s sleuths on to the story, but warn them to stand well clear.

    Meanwhile, as a sheep farmer’s son, I never underestimate the stupidity of hooved animals.

  3. ty bonnar 26 July, 2007 at 6:42 pm #

    Thanks for the response.

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