Helicopters and other aircraft are often used to combat fires which cannot be controlled by personnel on the ground and the practice is a fairly expensive one. Various online sources cite to a 2003 statement from the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management that those agencies own, contract or lease 1,000 aircraft for aerial firefighting each year at an annual cost of more than $250 million as of 2003.
Monday, October 2nd, is the 33rd anniversary of the issue of a patent from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office covering a technology which continues to play a great role in dousing the flames of major infernos.
This summer, while Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria pummeled Texas, Florida, and the Caribbean, one of the worst wildfire seasons ever ravaged over 10 million acres across the western United States and Canada. Fortunately, an ingenious invention called the Bambi Bucket® is helping first-responders and the National Guard battle wildland fires from the sky.
Before 1980’s fighting forest fires with helicopters was a hassle. The huge rigid containers hanging down from the hooks slowed down helicopters on their way to the site. The complicated trap doors of these buckets often stopped working. Luckily, one day, the inventor Don Arney had an insight that changed the game.
Salt Spring Island entrepreneur Don Arney has been a big-dream inventor since childhood. One of his earliest ideas was for a blimp/airplane hybrid and while still just 12, he drew up a proposal and sent it to the president of the Avro Canada aviation company.
Recognition of a phenomenal invention that transformed the world of aerial firefighting and a company that continues to create and contribute on a global scale has earned Don Arney the honour of being a 2017 inductee into the National Inventors Hall of Fame.
It was originally meant to fight forest fires, but an innovation from a B.C.-based company is being used by the Japanese military to douse water on the country's dangerously overheated nuclear reactors.