In order to fight fires in France, the Sécurité Civile has a big (but old) fleet of 26 airplanes. Among them the most known is the CL415 (popularly called “Canadair” which is in fact the manufacturer). Their callsign is Pelican followed by the number on the tail of the aircraft. During their mission there are usually 2 to 4 of them.
3 pelicans low pass during and exercice near Cannes
But this article is about the Firecat Trackers who are less known but still effective against wild fires. Initially these aircraft were used on USA aircraft careers so they are very easy to manœuvre which is perfect to fight fires (especially in areas with mountains).
Unlike CL415 they cannot scoop on the water. They have to be refilled on the ground in places called Pelicandrome.
There is one in Cannes that can be seen on this chart :
It is placed near the threshold of the runway 17 (used more than 90% of the time) so they can take off very quickly.
Holding points A1 and A2 are used by “normal” aircraft and a Tracker at the Pelicandrome
Their callsign is Tracker followed by the number of their tail. There are 9 of them in the French fleet. They are now based in Nîmes Garons (South of France, roughly between Montpellier and Marseille). In order to gain time (every minute is precious with wild fires), 2 of them will be based in Cannes during this forthcoming summer.
They usually fly by two, in a relatively close formation. They have priority over other aircraft (which makes the situation complicated during heavy load of traffic in Cannes). Each one can carry 3000L of water (usually fire retardants).
Trackers 01 and 24 vacating the runway
2 trackers landing
They are getting old will be retired in 2020 (initially it was supposed to be 2008). We don’t know yet which one will replace them. But for the moment it is a pleasure to see the professional pilots using their skills in order to save lives !
More about this :
Inspired by some wordmaps made with nails found online, I decided to build my own with a little modification : it’s also a clock and of course a connected clock … I know what you are about to say, yet another connected clock ! And well … it’s true (first project, second project). But this one will be pretty !
The “background” was made using painted 8mm thick MDF and the frame was made using fir wood.
LEDs are WS2818 which can be individually addressed in order to have results like this ! In this project there are 82 leds that needed to soldered (6 points per LED). It’s a lot of word, I’ll soon post a video explaining how I did it.
I will add more behind the “background” to light the wall on which it will be hanging. And I still have to work on the Wifi connection using ESP8266 module and Arduino.
I received a jigsaw for my birthday, so I used it to enhance the cage of my two guineas pigs.
Some wood ! Yummy
The cost is very small as most of it was done using scrap wood. This small project was interesting because I could test 3 different type of cuts using the jigsaw :
- Straight cut on the stairs and for the hut
- Cut following a curve for the upper stage
- Circular cut for the “window” (yes it was supposed to be a window but they decided to use it as a door, well it’s your cage …)
They adopted it the day I set it in the cage. To help them discover the upper part I baited them with some fruits and it worked pretty well.
As said with the title, this was my first experience with wood and I really liked it. Maybe one day there will be an other project with wood …