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  • Joe Breitfeller

Airbus Successfully Tests Removable Firefighting Demonstrator Kit on A400M Airlifter

Airbus has today announced the successful completion of a removable firefighting demonstrator kit on the A400M new generation airlifter. The flight test took place in Spain with a minimum operating height of 150 feet at speeds as low as 125 knots.

Airbus Successfullt Tests Firefighting Kit on A400M Airlifter - Courtesy Airbus

On Tuesday (July 26, 2022), Airbus announced the successful test of a removable firefighting demonstrator kit on the A400M new generation airlifter. The test campaign took place in Spain in daylight conditions with a minimum operating height of 150 feet and flight speeds as low as 125 knots. The test drops involved 20 tonnes of water from the current tank in less than 10 seconds, validating the drop water quantity and time, as well as the A400M’s ability to carry out the new role with the specialized kit. The development of the prototype and tests were carried out in close collaboration with the 43rd Group of the Spanish Air Force, European authorities in in firefighting operations, and the Ministry for Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge (MITECO).

In Tuesday’s announcment, Airbus Defence and Space’s CEO, Mike Schoellhorn, said,

“The development of this firefighting kit is an intrinsic part of our journey towards helping to create a more sustainable and safer world, not only by our actions but also through our products. We strongly believe the A400M can play a vital role in the fight against the ever increasing threat posed by wildfires and support the restoration of social and environmental systems.”

The A400M firefighting solution is a roll-on/roll-off (RORO) kit that requires no aircraft modification, and is therefore interchangeable to any aircraft on the A400M fleet. Water is stored in a fixed tank in the cargo hold and retained by two independent doors. The doors are connected to two flood pipes, and when the discharge is triggered, the water is expelled through two sections at the end of the ramp. The new RORO solution will facilitate a rapid reaction to unforeseen fires, and reconfiguration of the aircraft to a range of other roles. In the future, Airbus will develop a production version of the kit, and also plans on analyzing the operation in night time conditions.

Source: Airbus

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