Simplex Developing High-rise Aerial Firefighting System

 - February 13, 2012, 3:30 PM

Simplex Aerospace is adapting its third-generation Aerial Cleaning System (ACS) into an aerial firefighting system for high-rise buildings. Ground-based firefighting equipment can reach only the first 11 floors of a high-rise, leaving an obvious gap in the ability to contain fires in higher up floors, Simplex vice president of sales and marketing Larry Lichtenberger told AIN today at Heli-Expo. Called the Hydro Foam Cannon, the device actually merges the company’s power-wash boom with its high-capacity belly-mounted water tanks and incorporates a new compressed air/foam technology to create enough pressure to effectively fight fires. The patented pressure system, developed by partner Heliap Aviation Products, is key to the water cannon. While it weights only 20 pounds, the chemical-reaction pressure system allows delivery of 1,000 cubic feet per minute of a water/foam mixture (0.4 percent foam) at 500 psi, with a resultant 120-foot wash range. Like the power-wash system, the water cannon’s power-assist boom extends past the tips of the main-rotor blades, allowing the water/foam mixture to maintain its integrity to fight fires. The Hydro Foam Cannon can also be used to apply dry foam to the outside of the building to prevent the fire from spreading upwards.