HELITAK FT4250 SUPER PUMA FIRECAT – Australian Aerial Firefighting design specialists, Helitak Fire Fighting Equipment, are set to release their new FT4250 Super Puma Fire Tank at Heli-Expo in January 2020.
The Helitak tanks have been part of the Aerial Firefighting scene since the first tanks were sold in 2006. These first sales included AS350 (1000 and 1200 litre) tanks for Australian customers and S-58T (2100 litres) and S-61 tanks (4000 litres or 1056 gallons) for USA based operators. These were quickly followed by tanks specifically designed for the Bell Medium 212/214/412 models.
The new Super Puma tank design and production comes after collaboration with one of Europe’s largest operators, Heli Austria, after an initial request for Super Puma tank possibilities with owner Roy Knaus. These discussions led to design concept agreements following on from the successful fight testing and commercialisation of the FT4500 Black Hawk tank. Both these Helitak tank models will share the Helitak 4200 square feet display stand at Heli-Expo 2020 which starts on the 27th January at the Anaheim Conference Centre in Anaheim California. Helitak will have on display both the Heli-Austria Super Puma Firecat fitted with the FT4250 tank and a ‘High Performance Helicopters’ UH60 Black Hawk fitted with the FT4500 fire tank.
The Helitak FT4250 Super Puma expandable fire tank has a maximum capacity of 4250 litres or 1122 gallons and is currently being shipped to the USA for final FAA approval and flight tests which are scheduled to take place in late December this year.
Helitak’s CEO, Jason Schellaars, commented that the Super Puma tank which can be fitted to the AS332, H215 and H225 models was an interesting design project and the design team, in conjunction with Heli Austria, came across a few hurdles that needed attention before the final specifications were accepted and production started.
The Helitak Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) which is part of the tank package also provides the operator with full telemetry of the tank operations including hours of operation, water collection volume and pin point GPS location, pump operations including times and volume, door settings, water drop volume and GPS position of water drop. All telemetry is cloud-based and can be viewed at the operator’s operations centre or downloaded later.
With no aircraft modifications or alterations required, the tank can be installed or removed in around 20 minutes, fills in under 50 seconds and can complete a full drop in 4.5 seconds. A further 2 different door opening drop settings are included but the Pilot can dial in any door drop setting required to obtain the best ground coverage that favours the landscape or to better protect the asset under threat.
The first two FT4250 Super Puma fire tanks have been built for Heli Austria and will be delivered after the Expo in January.