California wildfires: The day Paradise burned down

On 8 November 2018, a wildfire swept through northern California, becoming the deadliest fire in America for a century, ravaging the town of Paradise on its way. The Day California Burned documentary by BBC Two revisits the catastrophic day when the wildfire wiped out 95% of Paradise, leaving most of the city a charred ruin. Drawing on hundreds […]

CAL FIRE adds a new Firehawk helicopter to its firefighting fleet

The new addition to California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection’s rotor fleet has arrived at Sacramento McClellan Airport on 12th October 2019.  The new helicopter is a twin-engine craft called the Sikorsky S-70i Firehawk from United Rotorcraft, which are manufactured specifically for CAL FIRE and for firefighting purposes. It will serve statewide through the […]

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 […]

Countering A2AD Capabilities in the Middle East

Dr. Thomas Withington Anti-Access and Area Denial strategies are a cause for concern in the Middle East. Electronic Warfare investment is one way by which they could be countered. The Electronic Warfare (EW) landscape in the Middle East is influenced by three factors: Ongoing operations, the procurement of advanced Ground-Based Air Defences (GBAD), and the […]

The Steel Umbrella

Russian air defence is in the spotlight. The deployment of Ground-Based Air Defence (GBAD) assets to support the Russian presence in Ukraine and Syria has been in the headlines since these deployments commenced in 2014 and 2015. Interest in Russia’s GBAD has been punctuated by infamous incidents such as the downing of Malaysian Airlines flight […]

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 […]

Conair’s Q400MR force multiplier

Conair is a world leader in specialty aircraft operations, delivering a comprehensive range of purpose-engineered, aerial firefighting, multi-role aircraft and services worldwide. The Canadian company manufactures modified RJ85 and Q400MR aircraft for use in aerial firefighting and transporting people/cargo in support of emergency response operations. The most recent customer for the multirole Q400MR is France’s […]

Columbia Helicopters’s CH-47Ds equipped with Simplex system

Columbia Helicopters has over 50 years of aerial firefighting with its fleet of heavy-lift helicopters. The fleet can deploy to fires with the SEI Torrentula 2,600 gallon (9,850 litres) Bambi Bucket on the Columbia Model 234 Chinook or the Simplex Fire Attack Systems (FAS) on the Columbia Model CH-47D Chinook. The latter has a 2,800 […]

AFFNA 18 – More technologies please

Alan Warnes reports from AFFNA 18 at Sacramento McClellan Airport. This year’s event highlighted the requirement for more innovative ways to fight fires. Of all the aviation genres, aerial firefighting (AFF) boasts some of the greatest personalities, and some of the biggest hearts. It isn’t like that in the military world, where I usually work.   […]

CAL FIRE, the Next Stage

The California firefighting agency has recently been tasked to fight some of the biggest fires in its history, with its ageing aerial S-2T air tanker fleet. Alan Warnes discovers why it may have to alter its future strategy to cope with the additional workload. Last December, the world watched on as another round of wildfires […]