July 17, 2007 In the vast array of pseudo weapons of war we constructed as kids, the waterbomb was one of the most effective. The right brand of balloon, filled with the right amount of water, could deliver a telling blow over a fair distance, particularly if you had gravity on your side. In a tale of creative innovation centred around the same idea, Boeing and plantation manager Weyerhaeuser are testing a new Precision Container Air Delivery System (PCADS) technology designed to make aerial firefighting more effective. The theory is that dumping fire retardant from the air as a bulk liquid is not the best way to deliver it effectively, so the water or flame retardant is broken into discrete volumes inside dozens of special cardboard containers. The boxes are then dropped from a plane in groups, breaking apart in midair to release their payload far more accurately on the fire below. If it works, and it looks very promising, PCADS will significantly expand the number of planes capable of taking part in aerial firefighting.
The Precision Container Air Delivery System (PCADS)
About the Author
Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, Telstra.com.au (Australia's largest Telco), Seek.com.au (Australia's largest employment site), top100.com.au, hitwise.com, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks.All articles by Mike Hanlon