Firefighting out of the box – a follow-up

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.

PCADSbox.jpg PCADSfill.jpg PCADSload.jpg
Take a box…..fill it with water…..load it in the aircraft…
PCADSdrop.jpg
…and bombs away! (For a 5.11Mb video, click here)

2 Responses to Firefighting out of the box – a follow-up

  1. Ty 15 August, 2007 at 7:59 pm #

    Good blog – what’s the cost of Bambi with Pepto guts as opposed to downed planes and lost lives? Also as the these fires tend to burn longer what’s the environmental impact? Poor air quality, global warming, etc.

  2. The Woracle 15 August, 2007 at 9:38 pm #

    Makes sense to me. But I had to chuckle when the Weyerhaeuser guy said the debris would biodegrade or be “consumed by fire”. Er, isn’t the idea to put the fire out..?

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