Oil Spill Response Boeing 727s
UK company Oil Spill Response Limited (OSRL) provide a global aviation aerial dispersant service. OSRL has commissioned two Doncaster, UK based 727 dispersant aircraft with the 15,000 litre TERSUS dispersant system. Both OSRL 727s, operated by 2Excel Aviation, were in action for an exercise off the Isle of Wight today.
The aircraft, two Boeing 727-2S2F(RE), are now central to OSRL’s aerial dispersant capability… Fitted with internal tanks, pumps and a spray boom to deliver dispersant liquid, the specially adapted Boeing 727-2S2F (RE) aircraft are truly a first-of-a-kind capability for the oil and gas industry. The Valsan engined 727-2S2F(RE) proved to be an ideal aircraft for OSRL: Because of their age the choice of the 727-2S2F(RE) aircraft offered a relatively low capital cost… Furthermore, the aircraft’s JT8D-217C Valsan high bypass ratio engines reduce the 727’s noise outputs to comply with Stage 3 noise levels, while offering between six and seven per cent reduction in fuel consumption. The tri-engine design of the 727-2S2F(RE) offers an important level of redundancy and if one were to lose an engine, the asymmetric effect is reduced and it can still climb away rapidly.
In 2014, EASA ruled that for an aircraft spraying system, oil spill dispersant liquids are to be classified as ‘flammable fluids’. The FAA soon aligned with EASA, and as a result any system entering service now has to meet the stringent regulation set out by these agencies. TERSUS, the system on the B727, was designed and built from scratch by 2Excel’s EASA Part21J & G design and production organization Leading Edge. Awarded an EASA STC in 2016, TERSUS is the only aerial dispersant system in the world that complies with the new EASA and FAA regulations.
UPDATE 28 April 2017: The 2Excel operation for OSRL features in the article ‘Ready to Respond’ in the May 2017 issue of AIR International.
UPDATE 5 June 2017: A further exercise is announced: Oil spill company OSRL to run test flight over the Solent
UPDATE 16 July 2018: OSRL extend the contract 10 years as the 727 is displayed all week at Farnborough 2018.
UPDATE 17 August 2020: OSRL and 2Excel sign a contract with the MCA.
UPDATE 18 August 2020: 2Excel have modified the 727s to enable flight in known icing conditions with spray booms fitted.