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      RAA188


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      Location: The Sovereign State of Alaska
      Occupation: Mangler of kits, creator of exhibits, enabler of comms.
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      Post #72824, posted on 07-03-2019 GMT-5 hours    
      For far too many people—alas mainly my fellow Americans—Alaska is envisioned as little more than an extension of the British Columbia coast: Towering mountains, dense forests, wildlife and a generally paradise-like ambiance, viewed from the balcony of a cruise ship.

      Alas, our fine State encompasses every clime and topography of the entire Lower 48, and then some: Swamp, forest, mountains, desert, and more. And as some might expect, with that diversity comes all the issues each environment endures.

      Yesterday Anchorage—our largest city of over 300,000 faced what most folks only view from afar: A rapidly evolving wildfire that (as such things do) took on a life of its own. Squarely in the center of the city, at the edge of a park roughly the size of New York’s Central Park, a wildfire erupted. In less than an hour it closed over a square mile of the city and threatened to spread to the most populated area of the peninsula on which Anchorage is located.

      June is the “burning season” here, where nature takes it’s course...More often than not in remote areas. Yesterday came home.

      I watched from my office window as a wisp of smoke around 1630 became a rampage with 80’ high flames. People fled, evacutaions were ordered, and amongst the chaos those who rush into the breach did their jobs.

      Each spring here in PAAQ I see the Conair birds arrive at the AK State Forestry base from their home in Abbotsford, hoping to return with minimal fuss. This year they’re flying sorties to Kenai every day, blasting lines along fires that blanket Anchorage with smoke from 60 miles away.

      Their backup this year, as in the past, came from further away: The Saskatchewan provincial firefighters filled in down in Anchorage, coming in less than 30 minutes from the start, saving countless homes and lives.

      While this hit close to home, I feel it bears repeating, especially here, for more than one reason:

      First, to thank those who have perfected their skills to turn a wartime function into a lifesaving role;

      Second, to acknowkedge that a nearly 65-year-old airliner still kicks ass under even the harshest conditions;

      And third, to say to all the critics and rejectors of my firebomber seminars: Models of Tanker 473 may not be sexy, but she’s not only an airliner but a <i>bona fide</i> bomber, damnit, and when you need her most, I hope this old gal and her crews are still around to bail you out.

      Photo taken from the Anchorage Daily News, via a homeowner next to the fire front:



      Rob in AK

      Just get me back to Alaska. I'll find home from there.

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      Braniff2


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      Post #72834, posted on 07-04-2019 GMT-5 hours    
      Hi Rob,

      Nice shot of the 580 still serving a VERY important function.
      I remember many a flight on 580's in the 60"s and 70's...Frontier, Allegheny and North Central.

      Does anyone know why the radar nose is removed from the fire bombers?

      I, for one, do not see AK as an extension of the BC coast. I visited AK in 1989 (mainly to fly on your namesake - the RAA Electra).
      I traveled all over the state in late August and early September. I was a little surprised that Fairbanks had hit 100+ degrees in July. I knew the interior part of AK could get quite warm in the short summer...but that really surprised me.


      Hope everyone is safe from the fires. And a heartfelt thank you to all the fire fighting crews working hard and dangerous duty!

      Braniff2

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      GTRik


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      Post #72869, posted on 07-13-2019 GMT-5 hours    
      Hi Braniff2,

      Mu uneducated guess for the short nosecone, possibly has to do with rapid descents and ascents... better field of view when doing those critical maneuvers.

      I think that seems a logical explanation?

      Greeting from YYC (Calgary, Alberta, Canada)

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      Jennings


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      Post #72886, posted on 07-14-2019 GMT-5 hours    
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      GTRik :
      Hi Braniff2,

      Mu uneducated guess for the short nosecone, possibly has to do with rapid descents and ascents... better field of view when doing those critical maneuvers.

      I think that seems a logical explanation?

      Greeting from YYC (Calgary, Alberta, Canada)



      I would guess that you're exactly correct on that. That big fat radome out front would definitely block the forward/downward view.

      The exact opposite is the reason the USAF has maintained a non-mission capable RC-135 trainer fleet with the "hog nose" common to the RC fleet - so that crews can fly approaches and landings with the big radome sticking out front and cement the mental image of what that looks like into their brains. They don't have to risk a highly valuable reconnaissance asset as a trainer.