Old WarBird Firefighters.

Discussion in 'General Military Arms & History Forum' started by Guest, Mar 4, 2003.

  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 2326
    (6/17/02 8:34:28 am)
    Reply | Edit | Del All Old WarBird Firefighters.
    It seems as though many old warbirds have found a last refuge as aerial firefighters.

    With that huge Colorado forrest fire in the news everyday, it's a great place to see these old birds in action dropping fire-retardant chemicals.

    So far, I've spotted a PB4Y Privateer (single-tail version of the B-24) and a P2V Neptune....and they're talking of converting some ANG HerkyBirds.

    It's getting to look like a Confederate Air Force convention.

    Anybody else spotted anything interesting?

    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 3576
    (6/18/02 11:17:26 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del Re: Old WarBird Firefighters.
    Did you see the one go down in California? What was that, I heard it was a C-130 but it didn't look like it. They said the wings were on fire before they broke off, but it really looked from the TV like the fire spurted from the wing roots AFTER the wings separated...it sure looked like just too much wing loading to me...both wings just ripped off at once, went in from about 200 feet at about 180mph...all three crew died on impact.

    Flying that low that fast with all that heat and the updrafts has to be some pretty hairy flying.

    Do they still use any PBYs for that work? I saw them as late as the 80s landing on lakes and sucking up water then take off and drop...
    "Don't hear him call you an ---hole, hear WHY he's calling you an ---hole." -------- From "A Season on the Brink"

    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 2339
    (6/19/02 9:05:00 am)
    Reply | Edit | Del Re: Old WarBird Firefighters.
    Yeah, I saw it, Polish.....looked like the wings just folded upwards.

    From what I understand, these aircraft are owned and maintained (or not maintained) by private firms that are hired to fight forrest fires. I imagine a lot of them have been "rode hard, and put away wet" and that maintainance may not be fully up to snuff.

    Add to that the weight of a full load of fire retardant slurry, and the fact that they have to dive down into canyons, gullies, etc. and pull a bunch of "G's" with all of that weight aboard.......it's a wonder more of them don't auger in.

    Edited by: Xracer at: 6/19/02 11:05:08 am