HAI Convention News

Simplex delivers foam to the fire

 - February 20, 2010, 2:56 PM

Simplex Manufacturing of Portland, Ore. (Booth No. 1547) announced here yesterday it has delivered one of its next-generation fire-fighting systems to Hafei Aviation Industry, a subsidiary of Harbin Aircraft Industry Group in the People’s Republic of China.

The Simplex Model 501 Metropolitan Aerial Fire Fighting System was delivered to the Hafei factory in Harbin and was specifically configured to fit Hafei’s H425 helicopter (a VIP version of the Hafei Z-9, which is equivalent to the Eurocopter AS365N1).

The 501 is the latest in helicopter fire-fighting technology for high-rise buildings in that it is operated by an independent operator rather than by the pilots. It also provides a range of motion for the foam cannon of up to 110 degrees of lateral movement and up to 30 degrees of vertical movement from an electrically operated gimbal system. These two elements allow the pilots to focus on flying the aircraft.

The 6.7-meter-long, carbon-fiber boom ends with a specialized nozzle located approximately 1.5 meters outside the rotor diameter, which minimizes the effects of rotor downwash on foam application.

The system can operate with water alone or as a batch-mix foam system, or compressed air foam (CAFS). The effective range of the CAFS is up to 25 meters from the nozzle.

The 501 system for the H425 uses a standard FAA-approved model 301 fire-attack system to supply water and foam with a proprietary Simplex anti-vortex device to allow nearly all the water to be used. With only 900 liters of water aboard the H425, foam duration is up in six minutes or more of continuous operation.

The 501 system was demonstrated on an H425 during the first annual Helicopter Development Forum in Tianjin, China, in November 2009.