The 1973 Fire Season : The Grumman Tbm Essay

1675 Words Dec 1st, 2016 7 Pages
The next upgrade was the Grumman TBM in 1958. Built in 1958, the Grumman was intended for military use only, but in 1971 forty-three TBMs were sold to Cal Fire to be water bombers. Substantial changes include a larger body than that of the N3N, a larger range, and a larger carrying capacity. It soon became the workhorse for California’s wildfires. However, by the 1980s, there were major concerns for single engine aircraft, like the TBM, due to maintainability and a growing crash history. There was also a shortage in parts for the aircraft, which meant that bigger planes needed to take the stage. The last TBM retired in 2012 and sold to a museum but the one before that crashed on takeoff.
The chosen plane was the Grumman S-2A, which was already being used in Canada for aerial firefighting, and with shared engineering data, Hemet Valley Flying Service built two prototypes that entered service in the beginning of the 1973 fire season. (The) “By the end of the 1974 fire season, 12 S-2As were in service.”(AIRTANKERS,) The S-2As in use today are noticeably different from the ones in 1974 due to higher technological advances, and the new high visibility paint job.
Today the main plane used as the workhorse for firefighting is the majestic DC-10. The DC 10 made improvements, such as the amount of water that it is able to carry. The DC 10 can carry roughly 12,000 gallons of retardant or water. The DC 10 has to fill up on the runway and takes about eight minutes, but, when it…

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