HAI Convention News

Simplex system snuffs out fires

 - September 28, 2006, 11:10 AM

Aviation equipment manufacturer Simplex Manufacturing is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, and is marking the occasion by commemorating another milestone, delivery of a Model 308 firefighting system for a Bell 407, to the Venezuelan power authority.

Simplex’s lightweight, aerodynamic fire attack systems enable rapid conversion of helicopters for quick-response firefighting. Tanks may be filled on the ground or in hover, with fill rates from 300 to 3,000 gallons per minute.

Simplex is also spotlighting two other aerial firefighting systems and introducing a new family of power line maintenance and construction products.

At Static Display Space No. 17 are the Simplex helicopter airborne power-line products, available to operators for the first time on the open commercial market. Simplex will share the manufacture and sales of these products with their co-developer, Mack Innovations of Queensland, Australia. Mack Innovations will retain Australia and New Zealand sales and Simplex will serve all other areas.

Simplex president and CEO Steven Daniels said his company’s power-line maintenance products include the Hydra multi-purpose mission equipment mounting system, the Javelin high-pressure (2,000 psi) insulator washing system, the Vector exterior work platform, and Mackpull, a dual-direction side-mounted wire-pulling cargo hook mount for power-line construction.

This range of equipment is now available for AS 350 and AS 355 helicopters and soon will be available for the MD 500 and Bell 206 JetRanger series.

Simplex has been tapped by Heavy Lift Helicopters of Apple Valley, Calif., to provide engineering, test and certification services in support of development of a new customer-proprietary aerial firefighting system for the CH-53 helicopter using some Simplex-provided components. FAA approval is expected this summer.

The new 2,300-gallon (8,706 liter) capacity firefighting system for the CH-53 will feature a computer-operated door control system that will deliver a constant flow of water. It also includes Simplex-provided dual, six-inch electric hover pumps, each providing a capacity of 1,000 gallons per minute.

Simplex is poised to provide its new Model 328 Fire Attack System worldwide. The system features a new water tank developed by Simplex for the Kamov Ka-32. The first were delivered to LG International of Seoul, South Korea, in December.

Simplex is offering complimentary anniversary cake at Booth No. 2313 from 1 to 3 p.m. each day during the show. At 1 p.m. today the company will raise a champagne toast to celebrate its Venezuelan contract win.