California Army National Guard new UH-60Ms made debut during Camp Fire

Two of the Army’s newest helicopters worked their first wildfire missions recently as the California National Guard supported state agencies battling the deadly Camp Fire in Northern California. A pair of UH-60M Black Hawk medium-lift helicopters from the California Army National Guard’s 1st Assault Helicopter Battalion, 140th Aviation Regiment, deployed from Joint Forces Training Base, […]

Kaman commits to a third K-Max production batch

Kaman Aerospace has announced two new orders for its K-Max helicopter, and a commitment to another production batch.  The company resumed K-Max production in 2015 after a more than decade long hiatus with an initial commitment to build at least ten new aircraft.  With eight commitments to date, the new orders conclude the second production […]

Manitoba Government privatises aerial firefighting fleet

The Government of Manitoba has contracted with Babcock Canada to provide services for the suppression of wildfires, including the use of water bombers, Infrastructure Minister Ron Schuler has announced. The transaction is the result of a competitive RFP process. “Our government is committed to protecting Manitobans from wildfires and that’s what this agreement delivers,” said […]

Simplex update from Zhuhai Air Show

This year’s Zhuhai International Air Show, which was held between November 6-11, saw Oregon-based Simplex Aerospace marketing its wares in the International Hall. The company is the world’s leading developer of rotorcraft aerial firefighting systems with over 30 models operating around the world today. Within the past four years, Simplex has developed five new helicopter […]

China’s AG600 amphibious water-bomber stays in the static display

The AG600 Kunlong amphibious aircraft built by AVIC did not fly at the recent Zhuhai show, but at least it was parked in the static display.  The huge turboprop made its first flight on December 24, 2017 from Zhuhai where it was built and carried out its first water landing on October 20, 2018 at […]

Ewatt’s shows off fire-fighting drone

Wuhan based Ewatt Aerospace was showing off this EWZ H6 Electric Hexcopter UAV in a fire-fighting role at the recent Zhuhai show.  It can fly up to 65 minutes and carry a 7kg (15lb) load.  A Fire Extinguishing Bomb Dropping System was on display close by (see main image below), as well as a Window […]

Enhancing Colorado’s fire-fighting capabilities

David Toelle-Aerial Firefighting Specialist with the Colorado Center of Excellence (COE) for Advanced Technology Aerial Firefighting, based at Rifle- Garfield County Airport in Colorado, talks to Alan Warnes about the studies his agency is carrying out. The CoE was created in 2014. The CoE is an innovative, science and data-focused entity that researches and evaluates […]

Insitu’s ScanEagle in Paradise Fire ops

Insitu’s ScanEagle Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) has flown more than one million flight hours and more than 120,000 sorties. Unlike the bigger MQ-1 Predator/MQ-9 Reaper it doesn’t get the media exposure because it doesn’t drop bombs and would not be termed as a ‘drone’ by the national media. As Insitu’s Paul Allen told me “We […]

Simplex offers Blackhawk solutions

Simplex Aerospace is the world’s leading developer of rotorcraft aerial firefighting systems with over 30 models operating worldwide today. Mark Zimmerman, President and CEO of Simplex Aerospace told Alan Warnes, “our proven development capability provides battle tested low risk solutions for aerial suppression equipment.” In the last four years alone, Simplex has developed five new […]

FireBoss aim for 100th sale by year end

Over 90 FireBoss aircraft have so far been delivered since the aircraft was certified in 2006. The magical 100th sale is expected in the fourth quarter according to the FireBoss’ Global Sales Director, Steve Johnson. “The aircraft is a basic AT802 airframe fitted with Wipaire floats and when in fire-fighting configuration is comparable in cost […]