So, is it Bambi-safe? A few blogs back, I talked about a new firefighting solution being developed by Weyerhaeuser and Boeing. It involves dropping carboard boxes containing water balloons out of the back of a cargo aircraft. As reader Ty Bonnar pointed out, the concept has evolved quite a bit from the original idea.
As this KNBC TV report reveals, the Precision Container Air Delivery System – PCADS – looks simple and seems to work. Instead of the original football-sized water bombs, the cardboard box now contains a flexible bladder. After exiting the aircraft, the box lid acts like a parachute and its straps rip apart the bladder, releasing the water or retardant.
Weyerhaeuser says PCADS allows any rear-ramp cargo aircraft to be used for firefighting, and avoids the dangerous low-level manoeuvring that has claimed many waterbombers. The disadvantage, as the report highlights, is the debris – plywood pallets, cardboard boxes and shredded bladders – admittedly all biodegradable.
So maybe the biggest risk is not to Bambi’s head, but to his stomach.
Take a box…..fill it with water…..load it in the aircraft…
…and bombs away! (For a 5.11Mb video, click here)