Ready to Respond

A Boeing 727 is on 24-hour standby with an oil spill response capability. Mark Broadbent went to Doncaster to learn about the work of T2

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The 727’s tri-jet layout enables the crew to keep the pod engines at static thrust and use the central engine for variable thrust to assist in achieving the correct speed for spraying.
Anthony Guerra/AirTeamImages

Spraying dispersant from the air on to oil spills has been a key response capability for the energy industry for decades, mainly with aircraft such as the L-382 Hercules. However, the Macondo oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010 prompted industry to look for alternative platforms. Through the establishment of the Global Industry Response Group and the Oil Spill Response Joint Industry Project it was decided to review future requirements for aerial dispersant application. A technical report recommended a number of aircraft but the Boeing 727-200 was highlighted as the most suitable due to its high transit speed, generous payload, extensive range, three-engine operation and configuration.

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