Talk:Helicopter bucket

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Did anybody know more about the origin if the name "Bambi Bucket"? It´s possible, that it was named after the Disney´s Movie "Bambi", in wich a infernal forst fire plays a central role, but i am not sure. (Please pardon my poor english :-)

I was wondering about that too. If anyone knows please add it to the article. I expect it does have something to do with Bambi. HotWheels(53) Talk 01:57, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

Date of invention[edit]

The original article mentions 1983 for the year of this invention, but my helicopter fire crew was using similar things, and calling them "bambi buckets", back in the 70s (flexible plastic sides, plunger release in bottom). This would, as a minimum, limit the U.S. enforcement of the trademark by SEI Industries, but could also mean this article needs information on (or references to) additional helicopter-bucket designs under the generic terminology. Lupinelawyer 12:55, 30 September 2005 (UTC)

Move revert[edit]

Please do not make major changes to this article without first discussing them here. The term "Bambi bucket" is more than a trademark name, it is a generic term used throughout the aerial firefighting industry, and as I'v shown through refs, in the popular media. AKRadeckiSpeaketh 04:09, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

So a few links that use the trademark as a noun is enough to prove genericity? How many links is enough? Should we really be the judges of what is genericized and what isn't? Isn't it better to leave that to the courts?
Can you find a reliable source that says explicitly that the trademark has been genericized? If you can't, doesn't that mean that the presented evidence, three links, constitutes original research?
Note also that the Bambi Bucket trademark was renewed two years ago.— Ksero (leave me a message, things I've done) 07:26, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
I'm not so passionate about this that I'm going to get into an edit war over the name, I'll consent to leaving the article where it is, but I'm also adding back the cited material about the genericization. This is consistent with comments in other articles where trademarks have been genericized, ie Kleenex and Thermos. Material that is cited is, by definition not OR. OR would be if I asserted from my own experience in the industry that the device has been called "bambi bucket" since before SEI trademarked it. I'm not doing that, however, I'm citing what others describe it as. If you think using cited material is OR, then the entire encyclopedia is OR, isn't it? AKRadeckiSpeaketh 16:17, 8 November 2007 (UTC) I'll grant is an example of a claim of genericity, at least until SEI ask them to take it down. The other two I'm not so sure about because they don't say what a Bambi Bucket is, they just use the term, and they capitalise it and put quotes around it the first time. They may be talking about SEI Bambi Buckets, for all we know. I have to admit, I really don't like the term "Collapsible firefighting bucket". Are there other names for these things? Regards, Ben Aveling 20:07, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
That's just it, there aren't. Walk up to any helibase, and everyone calls them "bambi buckets". Note the earlier comment above...the term's been in use long before SEI trademarked it. I'm trying to find some earlier industry literature, but my resources of stuff that old are quite limited. Of course my experiences, and those of the other individual above are first person, and that's OR, and so it can't be included in the discussion, but that's how things are. AKRadeckiSpeaketh 20:12, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
What about monsoon bucket? Ben Aveling 21:02, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

(De-indent) I have a solution, if everyone is interested. The "official" U.S. Gov't source of terminology used in firefighting, the Glossary of Wildland Fire Terminology has two enlightening entries. It includes Bambi Bucket, with the trademark symbol, with the definition "A collapsible bucket slung below a helicopter. Used to dip water from a variety of sources for fire suppression." (Note that it doesn't include a manufacturer.) However, it also includes a Helibucket, defined as "Specially designed bucket carried by a helicopter like a sling load and used for aerial delivery of water or fire retardants." While I don't mean to be US-centric, since it is an official term, maybe this article is better titled Helibucket? FWIW, it also includes the term Bucket drops, meaning "The dropping of fire retardants or suppressants from specially designed buckets slung below a helicopter." As for your question about Monsoon buckets, that's produced in New Zealand, and used predominantly there and in Australia, I've not seen it even really marketed in the U.S. I've no idea if the term has been genericized "down under". There was an older brand, the Griffith bucket, that is referred to in one USFS document, but I have no information on it. Though I haven't added it to the article yet, there's a few others. The "Fire Attack Storm Tank", or FAST bucket is made by Simplex Manufacturing (article in the current issue of Vertical Magazine), and also the Cloudburst bucket, produced by IMS, also in NZ, and it is being marketed in the US and Canada. But unless you see these names on the bucket up close, the fire crews, and generally the popular media, still refer to the tool as a bambi bucket. AKRadeckiSpeaketh 21:35, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

A google search suggests that Monsoon bucket is slightly more common than Helibucket (714 hits vs 285), though neither is anywhere near as common as "bambi bucket" (18880). Over 1/2 the hits for Monsoon bucket are in NZ, but there are plenty of hits from elsewhere (243), including the US. I think "monsoon bucket" sounds better than "helibucket" but I could live with either. What we should do is make sure that all these potential names have redirects to whatever we do choose. Cheers, Ben Aveling 22:03, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
Monsoon bucket still has the trademark issue. I would lean towards helibuckt because it follows the pattern of other helicopter firefighting-related terms, such as helitack, which includes such terms as helibase, helispot, helitorch, and helitanker which currently redirects to Aerial firefighting but which will eventually be a standalone article, after I'm done with Airtanker. Fire folks at least are consistent in their terminaology patterns! AKRadeckiSpeaketh 22:13, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
According to the article page, the term is generic. A-Flex's webpage supports that conclusion too. In part, they say "The A-Flex Firefighting Monsoon Bucket ... is a flexible, free standing fully featured fire fighting monsoon bucket." And they are fairly consistent about putting A-Flex in front. That says to me that they believe Monsoon bucket to be a generic term, and "A-Flex Monsoon Bucket" to be the product name. So I don't think there's an issue. And there are other companies that also make Monsoon buckets:,, maybe which talks about a "Briton Monsoon Bucket Trailer". Actually, that raises another problem with the current name - the monsoon buckets pictured are not collapsible. See also which refers to "fixed rigid and collapsible helicopter buckets". Hmmm. There's a thought. What about Helicopter bucket? 506 google hits which is credible enough, and it's short, simple, to the point, pleasant to the ear and about as self explanatory as I think we're going to find. Regards, Ben Aveling 08:41, 9 November 2007 (UTC)


The term has also become a generic term in the firefighting profession[1] [2][3] for such a tool.
  1. ^ Only You, U.S. Forest Service public service website
  2. ^ "Rescue interrupts fire, water demo", The Garden Island, October 7, 2007, accessed November 7, 2007
  3. ^ "Bambi comes to the rescue", Guardlife, Volume 33, no. 2

The websites referenced are examples that might be used to support the claim of genericity, but they do not actually say that the term is generic. So sorry, but unless we can find someone reputable actually making the claim, it would be OR for us to say that the term has become generic. Regards, Ben Aveling 10:13, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

Bambi bucket email[edit]

Received through OTRS as this ticket.

The Bambi Bucket is an aerial firefighting water bucket. Suspended below a helicopter, it is used to drop water on wildfires in forests or populated areas. It is manufactured in Delta, British Columbia, Canada by SEI Industries Ltd.

1 [History]

Invention of the Bambi Bucket

The Bambi Bucket concept originated in 1980 with Don Arney, a Canadian inventor. Arney's vision was for a durable, collapsible water bucket that would improve helicopter pilots' firefighting capabilities.

With the relatively recent adoption of long-line delivery, Arney found that his Bambi Bucket could access water sources in confined areas that helicopters could not access otherwise. As well, the Bambi Bucket enabled water dumps from a far lower altitude than helicopter belly tanks - dramatically improving accuracy and efficiency.

When it first appeared on the market, the Bambi Bucket was a groundbreaking invention for a number of reasons:

firefighting bucket that could be collapsed to fit inside a helicopter's cargo area if necessary.

activate dumps without any lag time in the dump valve's opening mechanism - a feature than improved accuracy dramatically

unbroken stream. This predictable water pattern helped pilots put water on target more consistently.

other firefighting buckets of the day. Examples of this included the Bambi Bucket's release mechanisms being housed far away from the water, (in the control head) and the gravity-powered nature of the dump valve requiring little electrical current to operate.

The Bambi Bucket first entered production in the year 1983. Over the next several years, it quickly gained acceptance among commercial helicopter operators and the military as a valuable aerial firefighting tool.

Today, the Bambi Bucket is used by over 95% of helicopter operators in 114 countries around the world who carry out firefighting missions with bucketing operations. It has been in production for over 25 years and has won one of Canada's foremost innovation awards for its design.

2 [Design]

The Bambi Bucket is a fully collapsible firefighting bucket made of high-durability flexible orange fabric. To initiate a dump, the helicopter pilot simply activates a switch. A solenoid in the Bambi Bucket's control head is energized releasing a trip mechanism, allowing the weight of the water inside the bucket to force the dump valve to open and the water to be ejected.

The dump valve on the Bambi Bucket is available in a standard gravity-powered fabric version, as well as two powered, controllable valve options for multiple dumps and variable flow: the Torrentula(tm) (for Bambi Buckets 324 USG (1230 L) and larger and the Aqualanche(tm) (for Bambi Buckets 180 USG to 530 USG (680 L to 2010 L).

The Bambi Bucket is designed to enable helicopter pilots to take on loads of water as quickly as possible. Pilots "dip" the Bambi Bucket in lakes, streams, rivers, or oceans to fill it with water in a single flight pass.

The Firesock(tm) accessory, included with every Bambi Bucket, is a mesh pouch affixed to the valve that helps disperse foam or water as they are dumped to maximum effectiveness combating grass and brush fires.

Over 20 Bambi Bucket sizes are available, ranging in capacity from 72 USG to 2600 USG (270 L to 9840 L). In addition, SEI Industries has released a number of "Signature Series" Bambi Buckets - special purpose buckets designed to accommodate specific helicopters including the K-Max, the Cobra, and the Bell Medium Series.

SEI Industries offers several optional Bambi Bucket accesories. These include:

1. PowerFill(tm) Systems - high-powered pump systems that allow the Bambi Bucket to be quickly filled in a water source as shallow as 18 inches (46 cm)

2. Coverage Controller - a computerized device allowing pilots precise control over ground coverage concentration

3. Remote Load Control - a powered water release valve mounted on the Bambi Bucket to allow pilots to manage water loads more precisely and for precision off loading to ground storage tanks

4. Sacksafoam(tm) Systems - a series of four special-purpose foam injection systems to enable the Bambi Bucket to deliver foam and a variety of fire retardant drops.

3 [The Bambi Bucket Name]

The following quote by Don Arney, which first appeared in the summer 2007 edition of SEI Industries' corporate newsletter, explains the origin of the Bambi Bucket name.

"I sat down to dinner one night with a journalist friend and his wife. The journalist was the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Television personality Bob Fortune who was with the CBC up into the 80's (when he retired). For over 20 years, he was the TV weatherman for the evening news and also had a long running show called Klahanie (all about the outdoors). He also had a program called The Inventors on which I was a guest in 1978 and that is where we met.

Bob was very interested in the Bambi Bucket and I was just getting started on it at the time. He asked what I was going to call it and I told him SEI-flex and he responded in no uncertain terms that the name was hugely boring and that in half an hour we would have a new name upon which he and his wife started brainstorming. Five minutes into this exercise, given that I was there for a social evening and not to work, I just threw out "Bob, why don't we just call it the ... Bambi Bucket!"

He said nothing and instead took a clean sheet of paper and drew a vertical line down the middle. Atop one side he wrote "Pros" and on the other "Cons". He and Ruth quickly filled up the Pros column and could think of next to nothing for the Cons space. In the weeks that followed, he was relentless in bugging me that we had to call it the Bambi Bucket. He was also certain as to the product's future. He said "Mark my words, the day will come that all helicopter fire fighting worldwide will be with the Bambi Bucket".

The great thing is that Bob and I remained good friends up to the time of his death last summer."

- Bambi Bucket creator Don Arney

4 [references]

1. Don Arney BSc'73, AQ Magazine November 2003, Accessed November 14, 2007

2. Ernest C. Manning Innovation Award, 1986

Accessed November 14, 2007

5 [external links]

SEI Industries Ltd —Preceding unsigned comment added by David.Monniaux (talkcontribs) 07:17, 12 December 2007 (UTC)


This article, towards the end of the prose, begins to sound more like advertising space for each manufacturer of helicopter firefighting buckets rather than an encyclopedia article about the technique of using buckets to fight fires from helicopters. Seems I recall that Okanagan Helicopters (CHC) used a rigid barrel fitted with a valve for the purpose earlier than the 80s (reference Helibucket article with print reference), but there is nothing much of that history in this article. Style wise, if this article cannot survive apart from the advertising being included, it may be better served to merge this article to the Helitack article in order to prevent the appearance that Wikipedia is things that it is not (i.e. not a dictionary, not for advertising brands or products, etc.). --Born2flie (talk) 15:51, 1 October 2008 (UTC)