Simplex Aerospace receives key order from Japan Aerospace
August 16, 2013 By Carey Fredericks
Aug. 16, 2013, Portland, Or. - Simplex Aerospace has received an order from Japan Aerospace for a high rise building water cannon, called the SkyCannon, for the Eurocopter EC225 helicopter. The high rise SkyCannon will be deployed for use in the city of Tokyo.
Simplex Aerospace will obtain an FAA STC along with Japanese reciprocal approval for use in Japan. This Simplex SkyCannon will be the first helicopter based high rise fire fighting system to be used in Japan. The new system will be delivered in 2014 for certification and is expected to be in use fighting high rise building fires in early 2015.
The SkyCannon is the result of several years of research and development determining the best method to combat high rise building fires not accessible to ground based firefighting equipment. Mark Zimmerman, President and CEO of Simplex Aerospace stated, "The design concept for the SkyCannon was simply to take the capabilities of a ground based fire truck and put it in the sky."
Fires in high rise buildings can quickly grow and climb out of the range of conventional ground based fire fighting systems. Using a fire fighting system mounted in a helicopter will allow fire fighters to reach the fire before it spreads throughout the upper floors of the building. The newly developed SkyCannon will give fire fighters a new tool to save lives and property in the event of a high rise building fire.
The system uses Simplex Aerospace patented technology to provide the most effective helicopter fire fighting system available today. Zimmerman stated, "The purpose of our new SkyCannon is for Rapid Response and to Keep the Fire Small, providing time for residents to exit the building safely and for ground based fire fighters to reach the building and fight the building fire internally. The SkyCannon, which can be deployed free of traffic congestion, will be adapted to other helicopter models capable of performing aerial high rise fire fighting. The Eurocopter EC225 helicopter is the first helicopter selected for use with the SkyCannon. We are currently adapting the high rise fire fighting SkyCannon to helicopter models from additional helicopter manufacturers."
The new SkyCannon utilizes a modified Simplex Aerospace STC'd belly tank in addition to the newly patented water cannon. The SkyCannon is capable of using both water and fire fighting foam. The system also utilizes an infrared camera to help firefighters locate and target hot spots in real time. A distance measuring system is provided to assist the firefighter and the pilot in measuring the distance to the building for increased safety.