At the beginning of this month there have been two chaotic natural disasters; two devastating Hurricanes and wild fire springing up on the west coast. These disasters leave heavy impacts on an economical, social, and emotional level. Fortunately, the aerospace is helping to engage in these natural disasters on various fronts. While Boeing of course isn't the only industry to be taking active part in assisting with disaster relief - NASA has been providing images of the hurricanes for example - it is setting an example of what aviation innovation can do during these disasters.

A Boeing 747 was bought by Cal Fire for its ability to eject a line of anti-fire retardant over a mile long. What make it extremely effective is that can go up to 600 miles per hour and can arrive anywhere in the nation within 3 hours. Despite the expensive costs of at least $2.50 per gallon, $16,500 per flight, and 165,000 to own it for 3 days, Cal Fire has strong faith in the ability of the former-passenger-airliner to be a beneficial addition to their fleet, adding that it’s speed and size can help fight other sorts of disasters like oil spills.

Boeing also made use of drone during the disasters - the drones known specifically as “ScanEagles” have helped a team from Boeing Insitu map out the fires in Oregon and the debris fields from hurricane Harvey, while also gathering data on survivors. As of September 8th, the team operating the Scan Eagles are prepared for when hurricane Irma hits. The usefulness of the drones comes from their high-quality imaging, different camera filters (They can in infrared and ultraviolet), and the ability to hover for 20 hours.

To best fight wildfires, Boeing presented the idea of an artillery-like invention projecting exploding shells of retardant over fire. As it is still undergoing testing and development, Boeing foresees its use as an alternative to using an aircraft in a canyon or during bat weather. The team behind its invention claim that the artillery-like concept could use about 1,000 less gallons of retardant and use five hours less than a what a helicopter would use contain a forest fire.


http://www.seattletimes.com/business/boeing-aerospace/boeing-suggests-new-weapon-in-fighting-wildfires/
http://www.seattletimes.com/business/boeing-aerospace/boeing-insitu-drones-work-to-monitor-hurricanes-oregon-wildfires/
http://www.sbsun.com/2017/09/02/cal-fires-new-firefighting-aircraft-is-pricey-but-worth-it-officials-say/