September 29, 2003
American engineers and scientists are engaged in the development of an airship to be used for fighting large forest fires.
Forest fires are a great disaster. In addition to direct losses, severe damage is inflicted on the ecosystem when the fire devours millions of cubic meters of timber. Forest animals die in fire, their habitat is destroyed and forest turns into a dead zone. Sometimes, fires move close to villages, ruin houses and kill people.
To fight forest fires, fire fighters must promptly notice the ignition points and suppress them. That is why in the dry season, patrol airplanes and helicopters circle above woodland and satellites observe the situation from space. When burning forest is detected, special airplanes carrying water tanks take off trying to extinguish the fire. But an airplane does not take much water and besides, to extinguish the fire, it must fly at a small height, which is not safe. In addition, it is very important to provide a salvo ejection of water so as to beat out all the flame at once. Such a mass ejection of water on a small territory can only be realized by several airplanes at once, which is dangerous.
|Image: Mary Soroka|
To resolve this contradiction, it is necessary to combine all these airplanes-tanks into one aircraft capable of carrying a large amount of water. It could be a huge airship.
American engineers and scientists are engaged in the development of an airship to be used for fighting large forest fires. This aircraft will be 300 m long and will be able to lift 1 million liters of water (the largest fire-fighting airplanes contain approximately 13 thousand liters). Such airships can patrol in the air for many days and to start extinguishing the fire immediately after detecting it, without loosing precious time.