Simplex has received FAA STC approval for its Fire Attack system on the AgustaWestland AW139 to take advantage of the AW139’s increased mtow and flight speed. With hover pump installed, the new system is certified to fly at 140 kias. Without the hover pump deployed, the system is certified to fly at 150 kias.
The enhanced system can carry almost 500 gallons, 20 percent more than the previous model. The new tank is also lighter than the lower-capacity one it replaced. Simplex claims it is the lightest belly tank per gallon of capacity. Flight crews will no longer need to rely on exterior mirrors to operate the new system as it mates a multifunction display in the aircraft with cameras on the tank that can show the hover pump and drop door operations.
The Los Angeles City Fire Department, which operates three AW139s, plans to install the larger-capacity systems on its helicopters, one of which is being equipped for night operations. Simplex also said it has orders from operators in Japan and South Korea.