Simplex received FAA STC approval for several enhancements to their Fire Attack system for the AgustaWestland AW139. The new system, STC number SR02351LA, was issued on April 23th, 2012, and is the result of a partnership with AgustaWestland to take advantage of the AW139 flight speed and increased payload capacity.
The enhanced AW139 Fire Attack system has a capacity of nearly 500 gallons (1,893 liters), a 20% increase in volume over the previous model. The new tank model has an overall system weight 3% below the previous model, making the new model the lightest belly tank system per gallon of capacity. The new generation Fire Attack system uses the multifunction display system in the aircraft and cameras on the tank to allow the pilot to see the hover pump and door operation without the use or mirrors. The new system is also certified for higher flight speeds. With hover pump installed, the new Simplex Fire Attack system is certified to flying at 140 kias. Without the hover pump deployed the system is certified to fly at 150 kias. The new system is equipped with a foam system and ground handling wheels that facilitate installation in less than 10 minutes.
Mark Zimmerman, President and CEO of Simplex Aerospace, commented, "The new generation AW139 Fire Attack system demonstrates the value of aircraft OEM's partnering with mission equipment experts, like Simplex, to develop mission equipment specifically designed to capture and utilize the unique features of the aircraft providing operators with enhanced mission performance. Simplex, in partnership with AgustaWestland, created and certified the world's fastest and lightest weight helicopter firefighting system per gallon of capacity.” One of the first customers for this new generation tank is Los Angeles City Fire Department. LAFD will install the new larger capacity systems on three AW139’s currently in operation, including one aircraft being equipped for night operation. Simplex has received orders from Japan and Korea, which will be produced and delivered this year increasing the overall fleet size to nine AW139 Fire Attack Systems.
Founded in 1946, Simplex ( www.simplexmfg.com ) has built a reputation as the leader in design, manufacturing, and certification of aerial application systems and mission equipment. Simplex maintains its industry leadership by incorporating the latest technology in design and manufacturing systems from high-strength, low-weight composite materials to produce reliable and cost-effective systems for firefighting, agriculture, electrical utility transmission, and other aerial applications.
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