DC-3 air tanker used for dust control in Thailand

The turbine-powered aircraft was operated by the Thai Air Force

BT-67 DC-3 Thailand
A BT-67, modified from a DC-3, is used to improve the air quality in Thailand. Thai PBS photo.

Thai PBS tweeted this photo of a DC-3 dropping water in an effort to improve the air quality in Thailand on January 15, 2019.

The air tanker made several drops of 790 gallons each near Don Mueang Air Force Base and in the Chatuchak area.

Thai PBS described the mission. This excerpt has been very crudely translated by Google Translate:

The Air Force brought the BT-67 aircraft from the 46th Airborne Division, Phitsanulok Province to carry 3,000 liters of water in the tank under the machine. Flying water droplets at a height of about 1,500 feet around the Don Mueang Air Force Base as the first area In order to alleviate PM 2.5 dust problems that are beyond the standard value until they start affecting health.

Type 2 transport aircraft, or BT-67 aircraft belonging to the 46th Air Force Division, Phitsanulok, are aircraft that the Air Force uses to support the missions of the Royal Rain Flying to control wildfire. And water spraying, water spray, alleviating haze / dust problems. In which the flight of the water lapses, each flight will carry water to scatter about 3,000 liters per trip. Scattering water from the height above the target area Which will cause water droplets to spread over a wide area And capture with dust to alleviate the severity of the problem.

It is not clear from the roughly translated article if the water drops are expected to physically remove particulates as the water drifts downward, or if it will wet the ground to reduce the amount of dust that becomes airborne.

The aircraft has had its radial engines replaced with turbine engines. The conversion by Basler results in the aircraft’s model name changing from DC-3 to BT-67.

According to Wikipedia:

The conversion includes fitting the airframe with new Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-67R turboprop engines, lengthening the fuselage, strengthening the airframe, upgrading the avionics, and making modifications to the wings’ leading edges and wing tips.

Due to the slightly higher fuel consumption of the turbine engines of the BT-67, compared to the original piston designs fitted to the standard DC-3, range on the standard fuel tank, with 45 minute reserve, is reduced from 1,160 to 950 nautical miles (2,150 to 1,760 km). Basler provides a long-range fuel tank which increases the aircraft range to 2,140 nmi (3,960 km).

Thanks and a tip of the hat go out to Isaac.
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One thought on “DC-3 air tanker used for dust control in Thailand”

  1. I helped do some of the initial tanking work on the BT-67s, and those Basler DC-3’s were the nicest, cleanest DC-3’s I’ve ever seen. Works of art. I didn’t get to fly them, but spent a lot of time in and around them and worked on them quite a bit, and they were very nice airplanes.

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