Russian Helicopters launches global firefighting initiative
Feb. 22, 2013, Moscow, Rus. - Russian Helicopters has launched the Global Helicopter Firefighting Initiative (GHFI) to increase the use of fire-fighting helicopters specially equipped with the suspended fire-fighting systems (Bambi Buckets), water cannons and other fire-fighting equipment.
By Carey Fredericks
The GHFI will involve makers of fire-fighting systems and equipment for helicopters producing innovative technologies to qualitatively improve helicopter-based firefighting systems. Russian Helicopters plans to involve its own design bureaus in the search for new engineering solutions in the field.
One member in the GHFI will be the Russian-built Ka-32A11BC helicopter, which can be equipped with various fire-fighting systems. The helicopter is already popular in more than 30 countries, with 188 machines operating successfully in Russia, Canada, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, China, Bulgaria, Austria, South Korea, Chile, Indonesia and Japan, among others.
The Ka-32A11BC meets AP-29 standards and was awarded type certification in 2009 by the EASA. In December 2012 the helicopter received its flightworthiness certification in Australia. The Australian aviation regulator's recognition of the helicopter's capabilities opens up a new and promising market to Russian Helicopters to supply helicopters to the continent.
Australia has battled fierce fires in 2013. Blazes engulfed Victoria and New South Wales in January, with dozens of homes damaged as well as the renowned Siding Springs observatory, home to Australia's largest optical telescope. The fires came close to a military base near Sydney that houses a large weapons store.
The Ka-32A11BC can tackle virtually all types of fires both on the ground and in high-rise buildings by deploying a collapsible Bambi Bucket and water cannon. Coaxial rotors make the Ka-32A11BC the only helicopter in its class that can execute difficult manoeuvres with a high degree of accuracy and hover with great stability even in turbulent atmospheric conditions.
Experts say that fires have become a global threat around the world, causing enormous damage to the economies of numerous countries around the world every year. The GHFI programme will implement one of the missions of Russian Helicopters, which is to combat this threat. The KA-32A11BC fire-fighting helicopter can be one of the most effective instruments of this new programme.
Russian Helicopters plans to demonstrate the Ka-32A11BC at the Avalon 2013 show, which will take place in the Australian town of Geelong from 26 February to 3 March.