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Airbornes New Mi-26

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I hear Helijet and Coulson are considering one for the Downtown Vangroovey to Downtown Victoria run....

With regard to operations in the Arctic:


Back when Pan-Arctic was drilling on the ice, it took 55 herc loads for a drill move. An S-61 and a 212 were used to move the camp, equipment, fuel and personnel. The S-61 would also move in the Bombadrier track vehicles with ice augers and pumps to clear the runway and flood it with sea water to build it up to a thickness required to handle the Herc. They also used the augers and pumps to flood the rig pad area to obtain at least 7 feet of ice for the rig to sit on. This whole operation took place in a four week period from the middle of November to the middle of December (about 250 hours night VFR slinging in a 212). In that time frame they set up four rigs and had them up and running by Christmas. They used to do crew changes with a PWA 727 landing on the ice at each rig. In March the whole process was repeated in reverse to get the rigs off the ice before it melted too much.

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Short winter driving season gets even shorter

Vital northern ice road closes early

A warmer winter gets the blame




A winter highway winding north along frozen lakes and across rock and frozen tundra for 568 kilometres northeast from Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories is a living metaphor for where Canada's North may be heading.


Is it onward to new prosperity and growth fuelled by diamonds and new oil and natural gas discoveries? Or is it into a host of problems caused by global warming?


The winter road is the lifeline to a string of diamond mines that have revitalized the mining sector in what the Fraser Institute has described as the richest jurisdiction in all Canada in terms of mineral wealth.


Every winter since 1982, work crews prepare and groom the Tibbitt to Contwoyto road as the lakes freeze in the grip of temperatures dropping to minus 60C. (The road starts at Tibbitt, 70 kilometres east of Yellowknife, and ends north of the Arctic Circle at Ulu, in Nunavut, 150 kilometres north of Contwoyto Lake.)


Surface transport in summer across the surface of thawed permafrost is impossible.


So, in the brief window averaging 68 days between late December and early April, as many as 9,000 truckloads of heavy mining and construction equipment and enough fuel and other supplies to last for a whole year are hauled north across the frozen landscape.


But this past winter, warmer than usual temperatures kept the ice on frozen lakes too thin to support full loads.


As well, the ice highway opened late and melted early, cutting the number of truck loads to about 7,000, far from optimistic hopes for future 12,000-load seasons.


"There's thousands of tonnes of stuff stockpiled around Yellowknife," says Mike Olson, head of sales for First Air's Western region. "Tonnes of steel, thousands of bags of cement, dry goods, fuel — millions and millions of gallons of fuel — a massive part of a giant power shovel. It's all still sitting here."


First Air operates the only civilian-owned, four-engine Hercules heavy transport in Canada and has brought in two more leased Hercs to help transport equipment and supplies that can be broken into lighter loads.


The Russian MI-26 — the world champion among heavy-lift helicopters — was being brought in to carry heavy loads of up to 20 tonnes. Anything heavier is going to have to wait until next winter.


Problem is, there's no guarantee next winter will be any colder. The trend toward shorter seasons on northern ice highways and ice river crossings has become pronounced in the past three years.


The reality of global warming will prompt a harder look at ambitious projects such as the proposed $700 million, 210-kilometre, all-weather highway linking the Tibbitt-to-Contwoyto winter road with a proposed Arctic Ocean seaport on Bathurst Inlet.


Bathurst Inlet is a jagged finger stabbing south from Coronation Gulf of on the central Arctic Ocean coast. The hamlet of Bathurst Inlet is one of the most isolated spots in Canada, but, theoretically at least, its 18 Inuit inhabitants would be able to drive all the way to Toronto if the road were ever built.


However, some of the realities of the warming problem facing the North are finally starting to sink in, with the public if not with the federal government, says John Streiker, co-ordinator of the Northern Climate Exchange, an information gathering and exchange organization based at Yukon College in Whitehorse.


"Darwin's theory of evolution probably has a lower consensus among scientists than the 95 per cent who believe in global warming," Streiker says.


"However, there's still a gap between what science agrees is happening and what the public understands. As long as that gap exists, the government will not get active."


According to Streiker, the NCE's mandate is "to distill the thrust of what evidence is out there.


"We've been accused of being bleeding hearts, but our purpose is individual investigation and shared information," not only on what's likely to happen but what can be done about it, he says.


Southern species of mammals, birds and insects are pushing north — deer are moving up from northern Alberta, grizzly bears are entering traditional polar bear territory, and the spruce bark beetle is ravaging northern forests.


Warm weather in the North is not new. Between 6,000 and 9,000 years ago, temperatures were warmer than now and the southern limit of permafrost was 300 to 500 kilometres farther north than currently, according to State of the Canadian Cryosphere (ice and snow cover), an environmental group that includes Environment Canada and the University of Waterloo.


Streiker says permafrost science "is just settling into place" and anomalies in temperature — rising in the western Arctic and dropping in the eastern — can be explained.


"Most of the warming energy in the east has been absorbed by melting sea ice," he says.


Whether Arctic warming is a natural cycle aggravated by human activity or is caused primarily by the carbon dioxide humans emit into the atmosphere through burning fossil fuels, "there are a lot of ironies here," Streiker says.


Almost all human activity in the North relies on burning fossil fuels. Between 60 and 80 per cent of the cargoes hauled north on the winter road is diesel fuel to power electric generators. It's all hauled in tanker trailers pulled by diesel-burning trucks, raising the risk of damaging spills.


Permafrost melting threatens soil stability all across the North, putting ice-core dams, transmission lines and all-weather roads at risk.


Canada's only land road to the Arctic is the Dempster Highway, which runs north from near Whitehorse in Yukon for 617 kilometres to Inuvik in the Mackenzie River delta, where it connects with a 194-kilometre winter road to Tuktoyaktuk.


If the permafrost thaws, "the (Dempster Highway) would sink into the ground," the Yukon government has warned.

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The Mil 26 flew from whitehorse to yellowknife (700 miles) in one go and is intended to move rigs in one shot they are building the rigs around the Mil 26 as so it can move them in one go the crew are all Russian Canadian Imigrants my friends dad helped with the paper work to bring it to canada and my dads Buisness partner used to work with them in some 3rd world counrty the Tail rotor has the same diameter as the main rotor of a 206 and burns a litre of fuel a second an unreal machine for sure

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does airborne got some pilots with the endorsement on the mi26??

No, it will only be Russian crews for the first year. However, depending on how this pilot project goes the Mi-26 may stay beyond the one year that it is currently contracted for, which could also mean training Canadian crews, but not until then.


We have a small news feature in the next issue of Vertical on the Mi-26 coming into Canada, which will be followed by a feature story in an up-coming issue once I can make it up north.

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Too long for me...........my bladder wouldn't last 700 miles at their speeds.......and I didn't notice any "Head" on that bird. Forget the funnel and the hose "thing" too. :lol:



Hey Cap.


Did you notice that little doorway in the back of the cargo bay up by the taiil rotor drive shaft? I think thats where the head is located. Just like on those small private jets. Its standing or maybe crouching room only. :unsure:


Then I think that there is a button to open the rear cargo doors. Make sure that the cargo doors are closed when finished and climbing back down to regain control after you turn off the auto pilot.

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