Patent awarded for containerized air drop system

Caylym PCAD drop
Caylym photo (click to see larger version)

Caylym Technologies inexplicably continues to develop what they call a “precision container aerial delivery system” (PCAD) for suppressing wildfires. In fact, they recently issued a press release announcing that Canada issued a patent for their system, which involves shoving up to 14 containers of water or retardant, each weighing about 2,000 pounds, out the rear door of a C-130 aircraft. The 200 gallons of water are supposed to disperse from each of the paper containers, but in the photo above from their web site, it appears that at least one container seems to be hurtling toward the ground, possibly still full of liquid?  It’s hard to tell, and it is the only photo found on their web site that shows the containers after they leave the aircraft.

Since they are so proud of their system, it seems odd that they don’t have videos on their web site showing one of the drops in progress.

If there is any chance in hell that a full 2,000-pound container would impact the ground, there is no way a firefighter could be within 1/2 mile of the drop. And even if there is a 100% guarantee that the containers will all empty, how much damage could even an empty container weighing 100 pounds do to someone on the ground?  And then there’s the issue of finding and removing from remote locations the 14, 100-pound empty containers from each drop.

The company claims they could operate at night, primarily because the aircraft is equipped with GPS.

By utilizing modern aviation technology and GPS, these aircraft are capable of combating wildfires in mountainous terrain, at night, in very limited visibility. Think of the possibilities!

Yes. Just think. Please.

This becomes the latest addition to our lame-ass ideas category.

UPDATE July 23, 2010:

The system was recently tested at the Yuma Proving Grounds.

Typos, let us know HERE, and specify which article. Please read the commenting rules before you post a comment.

Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.

6 thoughts on “Patent awarded for containerized air drop system”

  1. Sounds like a system developed by military personnel with military personnel in mind.

    Every line on their you-tube video talks about “military loading procedures,” and military this, or military that.

    None of it sounds like it was designed, or written, or developed by people with firefighting experience.

    I’ve flown the C-130 on fires, with the ability to do precision delivery, see personnel on the ground, and effectively fight fire. The effort by Caylym doesn’t strike me as very effective, accurate, or safe.

    The turn-around in a tanked C-130 was faster than the turnaround described for the Caylym system, on their website.

    How does one vary the coverage level when dropping bags full of water or foam? How does one create a fireline? Effective, uniform coverage of fuels is essential; not pinprick polkadots of retardant spalttered in heavily concentrated blobs somewhere in the general vicinity of the line.

    I can only imagine what one of those boxes might do to a truck, tree, or person…

  2. Were these the guys that came up with “Thinking outside the box”?

    The release may be with “GPS accuracy” but I doubt the retardant line (or blivet impact) is. When is their grid test?

    One more example of an idea born and cultured in a vacuum; its hard to imagine an experienced ground or airborn wildland firefighter not rolling their eyes and lol on this one.

    “Air Pollution”—–

  3. It’s interesting that in the photo of their web site you can count 4 more (empty??) containers at the back of the drop.I walked out the hose line to the fire camp many nights after 12 hours on the line in pitch dark.Lookout below! The other really dangerous part of this system is the “unstrapped containers” in the plane hitting a huge heat updraft just before release tumbling containers everywhere inside. See their website for this picture.

  4. in retrospect someone watching those paper bags dropping from a Beaver today they would label it “lame-assed-idea” but it was the simple starting point. Developments were made on increasing the efficiency of the bomb rack system in the Beavers and working with different sized water bags filled and loaded at the dock.Then came float top tanks shortly followed by integral tanks.

  5. History goes full circle. In 1952 I watched my dad dropping paper bags filled with water from the camera hole of CF-ODF a De Havilland Beaver delivered new that year to the Ontario Lands and Forests Air Service.The bag system evolved into float top tanks and then integral float tanks which my oldest brother helped design.He went on to assist on the creation of the CL-215 tanker.

  6. Yep, L.A.I. Good people are thinking (I think?). If I want to “treat” a division (s) of line for night ops lets “pour it on” just before sundown.
    Kaman Helicopters (FireMaxx) 700 gallon tank U.A.V. is the front runner in night delivery of fire suppressants.


Comments are closed.