Flutterby™! : Fighting Fire with Zepplins

Next unread comment / Catchup all unread comments User Account Info | Logout | XML/Pilot/etc versions | Long version (with comments) | Weblog archives | Site Map | | Browse Topics

Fighting Fire with Zepplins

2002-06-24 18:04:54+00 by TC 6 comments

I'm a huge fan of Zepplins and would love to see them come back for a variety of uses but I am a tad dubious about their use as fire fighting airships

[ related topics: Current Events Pyrotechnics Cool Technology ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment made: 2002-06-24 19:49:51+00 by: Shawn

I'd also heard (don't remember where) that the Coast Guard is planning to use them for patrolling the coast, in the wake of Sept. 11.

#Comment made: 2002-06-24 20:54:56+00 by: petronius

Sigh....as a certified Zepp fan, I'd love to see them come back, but I am not holding my breath. Every few years somebody has a great plan, but the invariably go bad. Airships are too fragile, too sensitive to the wind, and too hard to control. As to using them to patrol the coasts, one plane at 40,000 feet (which no dirigible can attain) can cover far more territory. Oh well...

#Comment made: 2002-06-24 22:15:27+00 by: Larry Burton

Everything in the article made it sound feasable but I'm wondering about the plan to reload the water resevoir in the zepplins with C130s. What is the inertia of this water dropping into the zepplin going to do?

#Comment made: 2002-06-25 00:13:16+00 by: Dan Lyke

I'm not a smart dawg, but if:

Drop-planes and helicopters with their small water bombs can only cover small areas at each pass because their water supply is limited.

Then rather than using agile platforms which can move quickly in the event of flare-ups:

Water will rain down continuously from gigantic airships, which will be kept topped up by passing drop-planes or helicopters.

they're going to use them to refill a big slow moving high altitude thing. And this leads to a higher volume of water dropped exactly how?

#Comment made: 2002-06-25 00:58:33+00 by: dws

There are tremendous up- and down-drafts near fires. I would think this would make it very difficult to get a zeppelin near enough to the fire to dump water.

#Comment made: 2002-06-25 03:42:16+00 by: anser

Modern zeppelin designs involve the use of computer controlled prop engines at the corners to provide platform stability as well as propulsion. I suspect that they could easily keep up with fire updrafts etc.

Also, the articles are misleading because the dirigible would presumably drop not water, but fire retardant chemical, like the airplanes do. The ability to deliver a really big load of that stuff to the fire site would make a big difference.