View Full Version : A waterbomber doing its thing...

Bruce Taylor
04-18-2005, 03:23 PM
A water bomber was working the river in front of our house today...must be a fire out in the woods somewhere.

#1 son (Eli) took these pics from the dock:




I think the plane is a Canadair CL-215.

John of Phoenix
04-18-2005, 04:52 PM
Great shots.
With the turboprop engines, it may be a 415. [In fact, here's you bird, number 245.]


Recip engines on the 215.


[ 04-18-2005, 05:56 PM: Message edited by: John Teetsel ]

Bruce Hooke
04-18-2005, 05:28 PM
Wow, nice pics!

Kind of early in the season for a fire, isn't it? Could they have been doing training?

04-18-2005, 05:30 PM
As I am not a pilot, I know not of what I speak, but...

It must be quite a deft trick of piloting to take an airborne plane down to the water's surface where there is all kinds of weird actions from the boundary layer interface between lifting surface and water surface, then add huge drag from the contact of the water pick-up chute while piling on mass in the plane and probably dynamically altering the plane's C of G.

Not much light chatter in the cockpit during that operation, I suspect.

[ 04-18-2005, 06:31 PM: Message edited by: mmd ]

Bruce Taylor
04-18-2005, 05:45 PM
John, that's it alright. Beautiful thing to watch.

Bruce, it's been a really dry spring. My neighbour says she saw smoke from the highway, and I'm not surprised...I burned some brush yesterday and had to stand over it with a hose.

Michael, for the few moments the fusillage is on the water it looks exactly like a planing motorboat. Those little pontoons on the wings didn't touch the surface...I imagine they put 'em there "just in case." Slick.

John of Phoenix
04-18-2005, 05:56 PM
I noticed the "Quebec" logo and flag on the fuselage. If they're operated by the Province it may well be training because those things aren't cheap to operate. “Your tax dollars at work.” When I flew commercially, we'd try to incorporate what training we could into revenue hours for that reason. Airlines do it all the time.

The pontoons keep the wings level when taxiing at slow speed, catch one of those much faster and you’ve got a serious problem.

Deft is the right word. That’s a very dynamic situation, indeed. Chatter would be limited to stuff like, “Scoop’s down and locked.” “OK, we’re full.” “You *DO* see that log at 12 o’clock, right?” and “My god, look at that PINK runabout?” :D

04-18-2005, 06:11 PM
Very cool pics Bruce! It does seem to be starting out dry this year. I was talking to an outfitter up in Gardiner (north of Cochrane) and she said there was no snow left in the open spaces!! :eek:

m poulin
04-18-2005, 06:30 PM
Beautiful shots,

I heard they were fighting 6 bush fire in your area Bruce. They are stationed out in Maniwaki which is the fire center for western Quebec.

It sure is a dry spring. Not all a bad thing considering moskitoes and black flies are just around the corner!!!



Bruce Taylor
04-18-2005, 07:43 PM
My god, look at that PINK runabout?”:D

Have you ever flown this kind of boat, John?

Maurice, by the highway up near Maniwaki I've seen what looks like a bush-fire watchtower. I'll bet that's part of the operation.

Skeeters are out already...no flies yet, mercifully.

04-18-2005, 07:53 PM
wish the US had afew hundered of this plane to fight fires. I have a deep dislike of forest fires. wish all that wod was becomming 2x4s insteed of wood ash

04-18-2005, 08:05 PM
I wonder if a 4 engine plane would be more economical?

looking back at WW2 one gets the feelings that the american and british example os using 4 engine planes alowed them to put more bombs on the target at greater range.

I wonder how that would relate to firefighting with an anphibious plane. longer range mens more trips between river or lake and the fire before returning to an airport to fuil up. but would it be better to have smaller ( maybe more ad-jill ) planes dumping their loads in more places. or can seperetate tanks dump their loads seperately?

it seems almost a pathetic effort when their is one or two aircraft on a fire, especally when the plane is a land based fixed wing flying any distance to get another load of retardent.

along the wasatch front we have a firebase at hill air force base the fixed wing planes fly up to seceral hundered miles to fires in idaho western wyoming and central utah.
even wen we have a fire on the mountians right here I don't know if they get 3 loads per hour. the helpcopters fill their buckits from inflatable pools and have got a new firepark on the east bench because they don't want to fly over houses with a full buckit. at least they only have to fly a couple miles between the fill point and the fire

04-18-2005, 09:34 PM
Wouldn't it be fun to go after jet skeets with one of those.

ion barnes
04-19-2005, 12:31 AM
Many years ago, while tied up at the government wharf in Port Alberni, Vancouver Is., we saw what we thought was the begining of a forest fire. Very quickly, 'a bird dog' spotter plane appeared and shortly there after, both Martin Mars water bombers arrived and dumped about 5 loads each. When one was dumping the other was picking up in the harbour, only about 100 feet away. The noise! Talk about ground affect! you could see a change in the water surface when they got their keel about ten feet off the water; the throttles pulled back, and the exhaust stacks farting away! Its really hard to believe that they are manouverable with a load of water, but they would bank over and come around and pull up the hill no more than half a mile from the harbour to dump and go back. Everyone came down to the wharf to see. Quite the show as you could document "You pick it up here, and dump like this over here."

You have some really impressive pix, thanks for sharing

04-19-2005, 09:47 AM
Those are about the most substantial wings I've ever seen on a plane.

I hope there won't be another fire season in Canada like there was a few years ago. For one thing, the smoke came down across Maine all summer and made things kind of hazy, though the sunsets were spectacular. Too high a price for that, though.

John of Phoenix
04-19-2005, 09:58 AM
As a helicopter pilot, I had a couple of occasions to play fireman but never anything serious. Exciting as hell though, landing on a mountainside, balanced on one skid, in the middle of a forest fire. Not a lot of airplane experience for this rotorhead, but I've always had an interest in amphibians. This Canadian bird really caught my attention as the 215 was designed specifically for fighting forest fires. Not many single purpose civilian aircraft have been built. The 415 came along in the 90’s and was configured for multiple roles and they did an exceptional job. (Someone FINALLY found a good use for a jetski! Slick, slick, slick.) Well done Bombardier. You can find the jetski elsewhere on the web site, but this is :cool: .

(Give it a couple of seconds to load the frames.)

Seafox, four engines proves redundancy in combat. One gets shot out and you’ve got three to get you home. Otherwise, they’re just more money, maintenance and worry. There’s a joke pilots use to describe something that’s complicated and doesn’t work very well. We say,

It’s like a four engine airplane, there’s enough going right to keep it flying, but there’s enough going wrong to keep you worried.

Bruce Taylor
04-19-2005, 10:21 AM
Thanks for the link, John.

Since it's still in "flying" mode while scooping, the pilots can maneuver the Bombardier 415 around river bends or avoid visible obstacles in the water.:eek:

Andrew Craig-Bennett
04-19-2005, 10:40 AM
What a clever aircraft; it has an obvious application in pollution response as well as firefighting.

John of Phoenix
04-19-2005, 11:15 AM
I take it back about the jetski, they still have no useful role. They call it a "Jet boat" on the diagram, looks like a Zodiac powered by a jetski in the video.
Look at #5.

But #4 is what this airplane is all about.

http://www.bombardier.com/M ediaCenter/Multimedia?action=view&gid=3_0&cid=83&Language=en (http://www.bombardier.com/MediaCenter/Multimedia?action=view&gid=3_0&cid=83&Language=en)

They're all great. What a KICK!

[ 04-19-2005, 12:17 PM: Message edited by: John Teetsel ]

04-20-2005, 11:11 AM
Yeah the spring has been really dry hear. We have a ban on any burning outside at the moment (supposed to end may 3rd but....)

don't they use modified c-130s for water bombers.

i don't know why but in this area they seem to preffer helos for water dropping.

We had a 1920's house in maine, couple of years ago the house caught on fire during a particuallryly dry sping, the house caught the woods on fire and burned 2.5 acres, it took several forest service helocopter working nonstop for several hours.

so far we have had at least 5 brush fires a day in the state this spring


Bruce Taylor
04-20-2005, 11:21 AM
Rain, this morning...finally. Hope some of it hits VT.

J. A.Tones
04-21-2005, 12:11 AM
OK - you guys want to talk about water bombers - take a look at this for a water bomber !!!
Hope the link works

www.evergreenaviation.com/supertanker/index.html (http://www.evergreenaviation.com/supertanker/index.html)

Talking about the Martin Mars bombers, ever get the feeling that they just should'nt fly? Love to watch them in action and in the past few years that has happened a lot.

ion barnes
04-21-2005, 12:21 AM
I am sure its going to be another tense summer on the island, thanks for the recent rain but its been too dry for so long I have lost several older cedars on my property.

Ron Williamson
04-21-2005, 05:31 AM
I would suspect that a larger 4 engine plane with a larger load would have a rough time climbing out of a smallish lake or river valley.
They have little need for helos because there are lakes and rivers everywhere on the Canadian Shield.

04-21-2005, 06:07 AM
A Catalina...PBY...redesign.