Absolute Fire Systems earns patents
May 25, 2010 By Absolute Fire Systems
May 25, 2010, Calgary – The innovative actuator and control technology that makes FAST Bucket a superior aerial firefighting solution has been patented in Australia and the United States.
May 25, 2010, Calgary – The innovative actuator and control technology that makes FAST Bucket a superior aerial firefighting solution has been patented in Australia and the United States. The proprietary control system design distinguishes FAST Bucket from older technology bucket products because it enables operators to control water volume from the cockpit, regardless of bucket size, and uses less than 2 amps of down-line power. FAST Bucket is available from Absolute Fire Solutions in Calgary, Canada.
The innovative actuator and control technology that makes FAST bucket (shown above) a superior aerial firefighting solution has been patented in Australia and the United States.
The technology uses the weight of water in the bucket to create hydraulic pressure in a small closed actuator. The pressure then operates a simple base valve each time the pilot depresses the drop switch. This fundamental change has created new options for operators, including cockpit selectable automatic volume control, data-logging, and a line of simplified accessories that use the “weight of the water” concept to enhance performance.
Cockpit volume control and multiple drops in every size enable firefighting agencies to apply more retardant on the fire more effectively, as pilots have the option to increase their loads as they burn fuel. “The moment we saw the original bucket, we knew it was a breakthrough that would result in new possibilities and a change in conventional thinking,” said AFS President Steve Matthews. “Plus, it’s aheckuva lot of fun to fly.”
Matthews purchased the technology in 2006 and spent two years improving the design to simplify field maintenance and increase reliability. Most of the fine-tuning and improvements, and almost all the accessory concepts, are the result of suggestions from supportive operators, which has been critical, Matthews explained.
Key enhancements driven by operator feedback include manual and auto
volume control, foam injection, powered fill, gel injection and data-logging. “The patents are a nice recognition of the unique concept behind each FAST Bucket, but the operator contribution is what really takes the FAST system to the next level,” Matthews said.