Helicopter drone is made to drop bombs on forest fires


The QilingUAV JC260, loaded up and ready to go

 One of the good things about drones is the fact that they can safely be flown in conditions that would prove hazardous for crewed aircraft. That’s where the JC260 unmanned helicopter comes in, as it’s designed to fight forest fires.

Created by Chinese manufacturer QilingUAV, the JC260 can be equipped with two of the company’s retardant-filled “fire extinguishing bombs.” Dropped separately or in unison, each of the bombs can reportedly cover a flaming forest area of 50 cubic meters (1,766 cu ft).

Lift is provided by two sets of counter-rotating rotor blades, measuring 3.6 m (11.8 ft) in diameter. These are powered by two 34-hp water-cooled gasoline engines, taking the aircraft to a claimed cruising speed of 100 km/h (62 mph). One tank of gas should be good for a flight time of three to four hours.

Continue reading… “Helicopter drone is made to drop bombs on forest fires”

Wildfire science: computer models, drones and laser scanning help fan the flames and prevent widespread devastation


Experts believe that with drier, hotter weather becoming the norm, even more wildfires could rage in the future. That’s why scientists are using the latest technology to monitor intentionally ignited fires.

At past midnight on a Thursday night in June, researchers in Utah are still sending excited emails, updating each other on the day’s action. The team has just finished following a huge fire that has ripped through a remote area of the Fishlake National Forest in the south of the state. And they’re still buzzing.

This was no wildfire. It was intentionally set. Early in the afternoon, ignition helicopters were sent in to start the burn. Utah University atmospheric scientist, Adam Kochanski, watched the flames unfold.

“There were two helicopters with so-called heli-torches – kind of like flame-throwers – just suspended beneath,” he recalls. “They were flying back and forth, and on top of that there were some ground crews with handheld torches and they also started fires on the ground.”

Continue reading… “Wildfire science: computer models, drones and laser scanning help fan the flames and prevent widespread devastation”

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