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Planes, mud and balloons???

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Dave T
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2002/05/28 10:16:48 (permalink)
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Planes, mud and balloons???

Hi forum!

While conversing with a member of another website he mentioned that in ENG when a plane ended up off the runway they often became stuck in the mud. Especially, if it was a wheels up landing. He said that balloons were sometimes used to raise the ship so that it could be moved and repaired. Has anyone heard of this and can you explain how it was done?

BTW, I don't believe he was making this up. Everything he has told me in the past has been on the money.

Thanks!!

Dave
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    jpeters140
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    Re: [Dave T] Planes, mud and balloons??? 2002/05/28 12:12:51 (permalink)
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    Dave :-) I will try to answer this.....I watched a B36 at Fairchild that had the right main gear sinking into a section of asphalt at the edge of a section of concrete.......Huge airbags were inflated under the wing to raise the wing sufficiently to allow supporting planks, etc to be placed under the main gear,thus allowing the a/c to be pulled back onto a solid supporting surface........Several of the airbags had to be used to support the wing to avoid overstressing the wing at any one location....the right jet pod was inches from contacting the ground......with the 230ft wingspread of the B-36, the right wing was some 100 ft long....I hope this answers you question.

    Jim :-)
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    Dave T
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    Re: [jpeters140] Planes, mud and balloons??? 2002/05/28 12:31:28 (permalink)
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    Jim,

    Thanks for the answer. I didn't think about airbags. I had it in my mind of something like weather balloons or a small blimp. [crazy] I am still curious tho how you could lift or move a plane that came in for a belly landing. That's a lot of dead weight.

    Dave
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    jpeters140
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    Re: [Dave T] Planes, mud and balloons??? 2002/05/28 13:12:08 (permalink)
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    Dave ...enough volume in a large airbag would do it....plus several of them would do the trick.....this would be in the vicinity of a bag of dimensions of 8-10 ft high and 8-10 ft square.....adding two together (one on top of the other)....would allow a vertical height sufficient to raise a large a/c. Several of these spread out under an a/c that was belly landed would allow a height to be attained to be able to extend the landing gear. As I said, I have seen a B-36 raised in such a manner.

    Jim ;-)
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    wadfire
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    Re: [jpeters140] Planes, mud and balloons??? 2002/06/10 09:42:53 (permalink)
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    [reply] Seeing this talk about airbags is interesting. As a firefighter, we use airbags to left vehicles or deystroyed buildings off of people. Wartime experince always lead to what is state of art today in the world.
    We don't use as large of bags as the military would for lifting planes, but it is truely amazing how much those bags can lift, and how sturdy they can be.
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