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 […]

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 […]

The massive Global SuperTanker appears at AFFNA18

“It takes 15 S-2s or five C-130s to drop the same load as our Boeing 747.” Global SuperTanker’s CEO, Jim Wheeler explained, adding “and when you are dropping over a million gallons, the SuperTanker is up to $6 a gallon cheaper.  You also have to consider how many pilots it would take to fly 15 […]

Managing Margins

Alan Warnes talks to Ivan Pupulidy, is the Director of Innovation and Organizational Learning at the US Forest Service (USFS). In a previous life, as a pilot, he flew a bit over 10,000 hours with the USCG, USAF and USFS. “A fire-fighters job should be to maintain margins.” Ivan told me at AFFNA18, and added, “In aviation […]

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 […]

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