Simplex unveiled its newly developed 850-gallon internal Fire Attack system for the Blackhawk (S-70i, S-70A, UH-60A, & UH-60L) at the Tangent Link Aerial Firefighting North America conference held at McClellan Airfield in Sacramento, California. The Model 370i Fire Attack, shown above installed on the PJ Helicopters’ UH-60 Utility Hawk (Red Bluff, California), is the first and only internal Fire Attack system for the Blackhawk helicopter developed principally for the restricted category civil aerial firefighting market. The US government has surplused approximately 800 Blackhawk helicopters, many of which are being purchased and placed in service by civil operators with restricted category FAA type certificates performing aerial firefighting and other high-value missions. Mark Zimmerman, Simplex’s CEO commented that “Simplex’s internal Fire Attack systems eliminate the need for the Blackhawk gear extensions required for belly mounted tanks, making the internal tanks ideally suited for civil Blackhawk operators.”
The 850-gallon internal tank utilizes a single dispersal door that drops water through the cargo hook well with minimal modifications to the aircraft. Installing the tank in the aft cabin increases the depth of the water, compared to belly mounted tanks, provides a powerful gravity fed water drop. Simplex also offer a 1,000 gallon internal Fire Attack system with three dispersal doors requiring minimal modifications to the aircraft skin. Both internal tanks systems are made from lightweight composites providing superior corrosion and fatigue resistance compared to historic metal tanks providing decades of maintenance-free operational service. Both 850 and 1000 gallon models utilize a 1000 gallon per minute hover refill system capable of being mounted on either side of the tank. Each model has dual ground fill ports, so the tank can be easily refilled when circumstances required ground fill and during night operations. The entire Fire Attack system can be installed/removed in less than 15 minutes allowing rapid change is facilitating rapid mission application.
The Simplex internal tanks offer USFS & NAFC Type 1 helitanker retardant discharge capability allowing pilots to select the number of retardant drops, flow rate, and percentage of fire foam to engage all fire and fuel conditions. An automatic emergency water drop feature is included on all Simplex Fire Attack systems in the event of an aircraft power outage or other emergency condition.
Founded in 1946, Simplex has built a reputation as the leader in design, manufacturing, and certification of aerial application systems and mission equipment for helicopters. Simplex maintains its industry leadership by incorporating the latest technology in designing and manufacturing systems from high-strength, low-weight composite materials to produce reliable and cost-effective solutions for firefighting, agriculture, utility maintenance and other aerial applications. For more information, please visit our website www.simplex.aero.