Drones

Helicopter drone is made to drop bombs on forest fires

Helicopter drone is made to dr...
The QilingUAV JC260, loaded up and ready to go
The QilingUAV JC260, loaded up and ready to go
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The QilingUAV JC260, loaded up and ready to go
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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.

A ground-based operator remotely pilots the drone in real time, based on output from its onboard cameras. A simple one-click system on the remote is used to drop the bombs.

The copter measures 2.8 m (9.2 ft) in length, and tips the scales at 260 kg (573 lb) – bombs included.

And as a side note, we've previously seen a drone designed to assess forest fires, and even a flame-throwing drone attachment that causes controlled burns in order to prevent actual forest fires.

Source: QilingUAV

5 comments
paul314
In a few specific cases this could be useful against a very limited fire, but that volume is about 6x10x30 ft.
FB36
IMHO, drones like this can be effective against all forest fires, but as long as those fires are detected very early! & for that, what is really needed is development of a fully automated drone patrol system that can be deployed to constantly patrol over all forests! (Such drone patrol system (equipped w/ IR/thermal sensors/cameras) could be also useful to patrol over cities to detect all building fires very early!)
guzmanchinky
Yes, I thought maybe it was used to start small back fires, doesn't seem very useful with so little firefighting ability? I know they are turning a skycrane into a drone, now THAT'S some serious firefighting power...
RobC
Paul, I had the same reaction. 50 cu meters isn't an area either, it's a volume. So, either a misprint or the idea is to send hundreds or thousands into a forest fire.
Expanded Viewpoint
If they used an air cooled engine with a turbo on it, they could save a lot of weight, thus increasing the payload and range too, depending upon how much boost they put into it.